What may be the best Harvard swimming team in ten years opens its season at 4 p.m. today against Springfield in the Chiefs' Linkletter Naratorium.
Today's meet should be an easy win, despite coach Bill Brooks' cautious attitude. Springfield will use six good freshmen. but it isn't likely to make a crucial difference.
The Crimson has lost only one good swimmer while adding several outstanding individuals from last winter's once-beaten freshman team. For once, it is possible to think with some realism about a victory over Yale, which Harvard last defeated in 1962.
But the team would be even stronger if four swimmers hadn't quit the team. John Munk, the best butterfly competitor in Harvard history, decided to forego swimming this year in order to pursue other interests and determine what to do after graduation in June.
Three freshmen-Bob Josten, Jim Hawkins, and Chris Fletcher- also decided that they wanted to do other things this year instead of moving up to the varsity.
The Crimson strength is greatest in the five freestyles. In the sprints, Harvard can rely on captain Mike Cahalan, Paul Horvitz, and A1 Ackermann. In the middle distances. Toby Gerhart and Dave Powlison are the top performers. The long distance freestyle should be especially outstanding with Steve Krause, Greg Huff, and Henry Watson.
Of the specialty events, backstroke will be Harvard's best. Junior Dan Kobick holds Harvard's backstroke records and was one of the team's top point-getters in last winter's Easterns.