Sounds of Coach Bill Brooks' encouragement and advice echoed once again through the Indoor Athletic Building yesterday as 36 candidates reported for this year's first official varsity swim practice.
Swimmers have been practicing on their own since September, but Ivy League rules forbid any direct coaching until November 1. Brooks wasted no time getting started yesterday. All afternoon he could be heard telling swimmers to "keep that head down" or "stop over-reaching with your left arm."
Brooks said that it is too early to accurately appraise his team, though he thinks this year's team will be "balanced, but probably not as strong as last year's." The 1962 team broke Yale's 24-year winning streak over Harvard and was the first undefeated Crimson team since 1937.
There are eight lettermen returning, but Brooks said that except for Captain Alan Engelburg, the boys who made up the nucleus of last year's team have graduated. He said that "This will be a rebuilding year."
There is a lot of good material to rebuild with. Engelburg, and Elliot Miller are good free style sprinters, while Harry Turner, Dave Brandling-Bennett, and last year's freshman Captain and University 440 yd record holder, Dave Abramson should be tough to beat in the longer free-style events. Joseph Stetz is an experienced butterfly man, and the team has one of the East's top breaststroke swimmers in Bill Chadsey who holds the Harvard 220-yard record in that stroke.
John Pringle, the best all-around swimmer on the team, was an all-American last year in the individual medley and should give the Crimson considerable strength in that event and also in the backstroke.
This year's first meet is at Spring-field College on Dec. 1. Springfield has never beaten Harvard, and Brooks expects no trouble this year. The second meet is against Army, a team which will be bolstered by last year's plebes whose times for the free style relay were faster than those of any varsity team in the East. Brooks thinks that the toughest meets will be against Army, Princeton, Navy, and Yale.
Out of the 36 students trying out for the team, Brooks expects about 25 to make the team.