THE SPORTING SCENE
The varsity swimming team closes its 1958-59 season this weekend at the NCAA championships at Cornell. Defending champion Michigan will lead the awesome array of powerful midwestern schools, which have much greater talent than even Eastern winner Yale. The Big Ten colleges in particular possess world-calibre swimmers, which should easily beat Yale's contingent.
Due to academic difficulties, several Crimson swimmers will not make the trip. Consequently, Coach Bill Brooks will field only a hard-core squad consisting of those with good chances for individual honors. Leading this group are Jim Stanley in the 100 and 200-yard breast stroke and Bruce Hunter in the sprints.
Stanley, though probably unable to win the 200, could take third with a strong showing. Pitted against Frank Modine of Michigan State and Si Hopkins of Michigan (both of whom have done 2:22.7), Stanley's main competition for third should come from Gordon Collett of Oklahoma. In the 100, he will have to beat Navy's Bob Taft, who won the Easterns, plus arch-rival Joe Koletsky of Yale, who lost to Stanley last week at New Haven.
Hunter faces a host of nationally ranked sprinters in both the 50 and 100-yard freestyle, but as with Stanley, a supreme effort plus luck could bring a first place to the Crimson: A new dark horse in the 100-yard butterfly is varsity captain John Hammond, now recovered from his sinus attack.
This meet will end what Coach Brooks has called a "good, wholesome season." After defeating Army, Navy, Cornell, and Dartmouth--all of whom this year had their best teams in history, the varsity lost a one-sided contest to Yale. The reasons for the varsity's traditional second-place finish are simple--against Yale, as Brooks put it, we had the ponies, not the horses."
Due to the influx of an outstanding group of Freshmen, who boast a victory over Yale among their laurels, the Crimson should be greatly improved next year. Despite this, chances for a Yale victory next season are slim.
The Crimson had a Freshman team this year comparable to the standard Yale product. Eli depth, especially in the distances, will remain strong through the next two years. Two proven performers and several more potential stars will rise to the varsity ranks next winter, but this does not make the Crimson better than Yale.
Besides Stanley and Hunter, others who deserve special recognition are seniors Dick Seaton and Hammond. Seaton has performed steadily for three years in a variety of events and will be missed. Hammond's winning sprint in the Dartmouth meet broke the Indians' back.
In his first official season as head coach next year, Brooks will have excellent material which has the physical potential to hit a new plateau but only time will tell how high.