Although the Harvard swimming team remains it seems to be fighting a losing battle against the London flu which has hit nearly half the squad. The epidemic could make today's away most with Springfield College for less of a sure thing than previously expected.
"So many guys are out sick for tomorrow that there is no room for error," a worried head coach Don Gambril said yesterday. "We will still probably swim people in off events, but we will have to be more careful in putting together enough points to win."
For although Springfield has never beaten a Harvard team in swimming, it should provide much more respectable competition than Brown did in last Saturday's shellacking in Providence. The Chiefs beat the Bruins as convincingly as did the Crimson, and with Harvard's illness situation taken into consideration, the meet won't be as big a runaway as it has sometimes been in the past.
Sickness has sidelined a long list of swimmers including four of the team's stars (Dave Brumwell, Rich Baughman, Tim Neville, and Hess Yntema) and several other lettermen, and attendance at daily practices has fallen off sharply from nearly 90 per cent to below 50 per cent. Both Neville and Baughman have not been in the water since the 69-44 win over Dartmouth January 6, and the letter has been sick the better part of a month.
Harvard's chances of beating Princeton February 10 hang in the balance, because the Crimson must be near full strength in order to top the Tigers at home. "The main thing we have to do now is not have any relapses." Gambril said yesterday.
Fortunately for Gambrill his team will have the time to recuperate without jeopardizing its 4-0 record before the big showdown with defending league champion Princeton. The Brown and Springfield contests may not be the most competitive but they do give Harvard a needed breathing period to both recover from the flu and get through exams.