Princeton Edges Crimson at Eastern
Relay Decisive as Tigers Win by Eight
PROVIDENCE, R.I.--Princeton freshman speedboat Andy O'Hara outsprinted Harvard's sensational Bobby Hackett in the anchor leg of the 800-yd. freestyle relay to give the Tigers their sixth straight Eastern Seaboard swimming and diving championship here at the Brown Swim Center Saturday night.
O'Hara, the standout first-year man from the Peddie (N.J.) School, who had beaten Hackett in the anchor leg of the 800-yd. freestyle relay here on Friday night, jumped out ahead of the best performer in Harvard swimming history at the start of their pressure-packed duel. He never relinquished his scant lead, as Princeton won the relay and the meet by just three-tenths of a second.
In a replay of their dual meet here in Cambridge exactly one month ago, the outcome of the contest between the two swimming powers depended on that of the last relay. Trailing only 332-330 going into the event, Harvard sent the explosive quartet of Malcolm Cooper, Duncan Pyle, Julian Mack and Hackett to the blocks amidst the absolute bedlam that surrounded the most exciting finish to an Eastern championship meet in years.
Princeton's Alan Fine, whom Hackett beat in the last leg of this event to clinch last month's dual meet, swam leadoff this time and gained a slight edge over Cooper. But Pyle and Mack made up the deficit against Princeton's Howard Nelson and Andy Saltzman, to set the stage for the anchormen and Princeton's dramatic 364-356 victory.
Both times--3:01.97 for Princeton and 3:02.30 for Harvard--were well below the existing meet record and qualified for the NCAA championships at Long Beach, Ca. later this month.
The evening began on a high note for Harvard, which entered Saturday's third and final round of competition trailing, 226-210. In the opening event, the 1650-yd. freestyle, Hackett--who was probably the only swimmer in the meet not to shave his body hair (he's saving his shave for the NCAA meet)--set his third meet record in as many nights. The powerful Olympic silver medalist churned through the water in 15:22.80, which shattered the old record by more than 25 seconds, to win his third individual event and pick up the Phil Moriarty Award as the meet's individual high point scorer.
Michael Coglin, the Harvard freshman who won the 400-yd. individual medley on Friday night, finished third in the event to give the Crimson 28 points for the race.
But Harvard suffered a critical and perhaps ultimately fatal, setback in the second event, the 100-yd. freestyle. In the afternoon's trials, Mack had gone 46.06 to qualify first, while Cooper qualified second. Unfortunately, the starter fired a quick starting gun while people were still moving on the blocks in the finals, and Mack and Cooper never really recovered. Cooper took fourth and Mack sixth, while Princeton's O'Hara and Fine finished second and fifth, respectively. LaSalle's Tom McKeon won the race in 46.02.
The meet was not nearly over, however, as the Crimson almost pulled off the upset with some gutsy performances after that. Freshman Geoff Seelen provided some very key points, and qualified for his third event at the NCAAs by nailing down second place in the 200-yd. backstroke.
Seelen had already beaten national qualifying standards as part of Harvard's medley relay team Thursday night and again in the 100-yd. backstroke on Friday.
Crimson co-captain Duncan Pyle smoothly glided to sixth place in the 200-yd. back to move Harvard within seven, at 287-280.
Harvard received a big break in the next event, the 200-yd. breaststroke. Princeton's outstanding freshman John Christensen, favored to win the event, fell ill during the trials and did not even qualify for the top 12.
The Crimson's Tuomo Kerola took advantage of the situation, attacking the water to record a personal season best of 2:09.78 en route to a third-place finish. Princeton captain and defending champion Chuck Hector took second, so the Tigers picked up a point to lead by eight with three events left.
In the first of these, the 200-yd. butterfly, Princeton placed four men in the top 12 to pick up 28 points. The event was not as disastrous for Harvard as it could have been, however, as Yale's muscular Mark DeVore overtook the Tigers' defending champion Bill Specht in the last 50 yards to rob the leaders of three points. Harvard's Dan Menichella provided a small boost by finishing 11th.
Then Harvard's Mr. Clutch, senior diver Mike Toal, absolutely dazzled the crowd with three flawless dives to capture the three-meter diving crown. Toal received a standing ovation, and a nine from one judge, for his final dive. Harvard's Steve Schramm, Jamie Greacen and Craig Gavin finished fifth, seventh and tenth, respectively, to bring their team within two before the thrilling finale.
1650 Freestyle--1. Robert Hackett, Harvard, 15:22.80' 2. Christopher Hug, Brown, 15:47.02; 3. Michael Coglin, Harvard, 15:56.52; 4. Rob Maass, Princeton, 15.58.74; 5. Frank May, Fordham, 16.07.74; 6. Timothy Gladura, Army, 16.09.98.
100 Freestyle--1. Tom McKeon, LaSalle, 46.02; 2. Andy O'Hara, Princeton, 46.16; 3. Raymond McDaniel, Colgate, 46.40; 4. Malcolm Cooper, Harvard, 46.43; 5. Alan Fine, Princeton, 46.44; 6. Julian Mack, Harvard, 46.64.
200 Backstroke--1. Mark Heinrich, Navy, 1:53.13; 2. Geoffrey Seelen, Harvard, 1:54.22; 3. Todd Taylor, Dartmouth, 1.55.03; 4. Frank Fitzgerald, Princeton, 1:55.32; 5. Alex Hodge, Comell, 1:55.38; 6. Duncan Pyle, Harvard, 1:55.78.
400 Freestyle Relay--1. Princeton, 3:01.97; 2. Harvard, 3:02.30; 3. Fordham, 3:06.29; 4. Columbia, 3:06.34; 5. Navy, 3:06.92; 6. Yale, 3:06.93.
3-Meter Diving--1. Michael Toal, Harvard, 521.70; 2. Mike Gurnee, Columbia, 484.25; 3. John Evans, Dartmouth, 479.05; 4. Paul Steck, Cornell, 470.10; 5. Steve Schramm, Harvard, 464.60; 6. Kirk Schaumann, Army, 432.20.
200 Butterfly--1. Mark DeVore, Yale, 1:49.38; 2. Bill Specht, Princeton, 1:50.90; 3. Craig Christie, Cornell, 1:52.54; 3. Don Soencer, Columbia, 1:52.54; 5. Eric Wiscavage, Columbia, 1:52.71; 6. Brad Wendler, Princeton, 1:54.08.
200 Breastroke--1. Mark Hemmerle, Drexel. 2:08.14; 2. Chuck Hector, Princeton, 2:09.38; 3. Tuomo Kerola, Harvard, 2:09.78; 4. Kent Whitaker, Dartmouth, 2:10.38; 5. Michael Pare, Columbia, 2:10.66; 6. Kelley Hopkins, Colgate, 2:11.17.
1. Princeton, 364.0; 2. Harvard, 356.0; 3. Columbia, 210.0; 4. Army, 172.0; 5. Dartmouth, 149.0; 6. Cornell, 142.0; 7. Navy, 118.0; 8. Yale, 114.0; 9. Brown, 102.0; 10. Fordham, 63.0; 11. Colgate, 50.0; 12. LaSalle, 37.0; 13. Drexel, 32.0; 14. Bucknell, 24.0; 15. American, 10.0; 16. Temple, 6.0; 17. Pennsylvania, 4.0.