Swimmers Open Season Against Dartmouth; Crimson Prepared for Talented Green Squad
The talent-laden Harvard swimming team will open what promises to be the most successful season in its history today at 2 p.m. in a dual meet against Dartmouth at Hanover.
Boasting 17 returning lettermen and a flock of fine freshmen, Harvard stands an excellent chance of improving on last year's 8-1 dual meet record and third-place Eastern league finish. Today's performance against Dartmouth should provide a good indication of how far the team can go.
The Big Green will rely on the talents of 16 lettermen returning from last year's solid 8-2 team. One of those losses was a 69-44 drubbing at the hands of the Crimson, so the incentive should not be lacking in today's rematch.
One area of Dartmouth strength is long distance freestyle. Captain Brad Gilman and senior Jim Bayles, Dartmouth record-holder in the 500-yd. free, are rated two of the better swimmers in the East this year. Their battle with Crimson aces Rich Baughman and Peter Tetlow, a freshman, could provide the meet's highlight.
In other events, sophomores are expected to provide much of the scoring punch for the Big Green. Mark Stebbins, a freestyle sprinter, backstroker Kim Windreth, and breaststroke specialists Paul Cane and Dave Magnus all enjoyed outstanding freshman seasons. Tim Hable in freestyle and Ted Pollard in breaststroke are this year's top freshman prospects.
Despite this impressive lineup, a simple check of individual swimmers' fastest times will show that the Big Green is outclassed in today's meet. Harvard, however, is not taking them lightly. Dartmouth has a reputation of being unpredictable.
In last year's first meet against Princeton, an upset victory, the entire Big Green team "shaved down" their bodies, a swimming strategy which significantly lowers times but which psychologically drains a team because it demands a total effort. It can be effectively done only a few times each season, preferably when the team needs a peak performance.
Crimson swimmers do not "shave down" as a team until the championships at the end of the season, and if Dartmouth pulls the move against them today, it could well be a close and exciting meet.