In the past few weeks, Harvard athletes have covered themselves and the University with their own particular kind of glory. Some members of this intellectual community will shrug off the triumphs of Harvard teams, and many will never even know that they occurred. But nothing should detract from the magnitude of these achievements; in their own realm, they represent what Harvard is searching for in every field--excellence.
There feats of athletic accomplishment are not important only because we won, and they lost. They are meaningful because in all of them athletes forced themselves to swim faster, to run farther, or to jump higher than they or anyone else thought they could. When this happens, the effort ought to be appreciated, no matter who makes it.
When an exhausted John Pringle drags himself home ahead of a Yale opponent in the 200-yard breaststroke despite the effects of two earlier races, something important is happening. There is something honorable in four tired runners' pushing themselves through the two-mile relay fast enough to insure a victory over Yale. And a finely-tuned hockey team whirling in on the Yale goal is an inspiring sight.
Thus, because they have done something important, the swimming, track, hockey, and squash teams deserve congratulations. The swimming team has produced a exciting victory over a fine Yale squad, the first such triumph since 1938. Besides defeating Yale and Princeton in triangular competition, the track squad has won the coveted Heptagonal championship. The hockey team has once more captured the Ivy League championship, and has scored an astounding 19 goals in its past two games. And the squash team has upset a heavily favored Yale opponent.
Members of all these squads and of several others deserve praise for contributing to one of the most productive and enjoyable sports seasons in recent memory.