For 30 year the Yale swim team was invincible. the Elis were so good that they lost only four dual meets between 1940 and 1970 so it was not surprising that Harvard swimmers could go years and even decades and not beat Yale.
This year, however, the Harvard squamen are heavily favored to beat the Blue swimmers for the third year in a row in a 2 p.m. meet at the IAB a victory would wrap up the Crimson's third Eastern swim crown and doom Yale to its first losing season in history.
Although Yale is not as good as many other teams Harvard has met so far this year, Crimson swimming coach Ray Essick is not taking the meet lightly. "After agonizing all year," Essick said, "We aren't going to screw around and blow it."
Yale does have several strong points though. One of them is the meet's initial event, the 400 medley relay. The medley relay team has gone 3:36 this year and won against Princeton last week.
The sprints appear to be another Eli strength Sophomore Tony Frink leads the corps on the basis of his 21.9 second 50 ,and 48.2 second 100 free dual wins against Princeton. Yale also has a whole fleet of swimmers who have covered 100 yards in 48.0 seconds.
Junior freestyler Bon Blattner will no doubt carry Yale's hopes on his shoulders in the 200 and 500 freestyle this afternoon. Blattner has swum the 500 in 4-48 and the 200 in 1:44.
The Elis should also be competitive in the 200 back, fly, and individual medley Quentin Lawler has gone 2:00 in the back and Kurt Spohn has recorded a 1:59 in the butterfly Eli Captain Buck Smith's best time in the I.M> this year is 1:59 as commpared to Harvard captain Dave Brumwell's mark of 1:58.
Essick will have to go with his best swimmers in each event to counter the Elis attack, with a now-ailing Hess Yntema in the line-up last week at Penn, the Crimson 400 medley relay has gone 3:34 Yntema has also swum a 1:44 in the 200 free to match Blattner and his bettered Spohn's butterfly record.
Paco Canales, who has swum well all year, will be counted on in the 500 free to go against "Hatter Canales has recorded a 4:47 in the event this season.
"We are going to try not to let the meet go down to the 400 free relay (the last event)" Essick said, "But on the other hand we don't want to embarrass Yale, not with its fine tradition."