Two upsets in the Eastern Swimming League Saturday gave Harvard an opportunity to get back in the title race. but then the Crimson dropped a 59-54 decision to Princeton to end all first-place aspirations.
Penn topped Yale, 64-49, for the first time since 1915, and Army handed once-powerful Dartmouth its third straight loss. The Elis had won 74 consecutive dual meets before losing to Penn, which in only one year has climbed from sixth place to first.
Saturday at Princeton, Harvard (now 1-3) countered the Tigers' sweeps in the two sprints, but Princeton won valuable points in other freestyle events and the specialty strokes to capture the meet. It was the Crimson's eighth straight loss to Princeton.
But Harvard did not take its full squad and seemed philosophical about the loss. "It was probably the most satisfying meet this year," said back stroker John Burris. The Crimson decided to take only its best-conditioned men and left behind several regulars, including Henry Watson, Al Ackermann, and Craig Sewell.
As usual, Harvard's top two performers were captain Mike Cahalan and Steve Krause. Cahalan and Paul Horvitz swept the sprints with Cahalan turning in winning times of 21.9 and 49.6. Krause was first in the 1000-free (10: 15.2) and the 200 fly (1: 58.1) and then barely lost the 500-free (5:00.1).
Unfortunately. it was the 500-free which seemed the most crucial event. Harvard was up, 40-39, but Princeton was favored in the next two events after the 500. while the Crimson could expect another victory only in the final relay.
Kranse took the lead by about a body length, but at 300 yards the Tigers'Jack Garretson pulled even and then took a lead of a few inches which he maintained the rest of the way to win by 0.2 seconds.
Harvard's only other winner was Dave Powlison, who was clocked in 1:49.2 in the 200-free.