Having dominated Eastern collegiate swimming for five years running, the Harvard men's swimming team is now making its move to the international scene. A quintet of the aquamen is eyeing next summer's Los Angeles Olympics.
Senior freestyle sprinter Mike Miao has already received an invitation to join the Taiwanese Olympic team to swim the 100 meters, but he won't rule out the chance that he'll make the United States team, to be chosen at the Olympic trials in June. The Taiwanese government recognizes Chinese from both Chinas and anywhere else in the world as citizens of Taiwan, and both the U.S. State Department and the International Olympic Committee have okayed Miao's participation as either an American or a Taiwanese citizen.
Miao's training this year differed from his training in the past. Swimming five or six workouts a week, he still puts in fewer hours than the rest of the team, and not as much as in the past two years, to prevent shoulder and knee problems from recurring.
Sophomore Tim Ford said he'll go home to Australia for the selection trials in February "depending on how well I'm swimming. I should be able to make the team if I can get enough training."
Ford praised Crimson Coach Joe Bernal for creating his vigorous training routine. "I have a friend at another university where the coach took the attitude. 'He won't be around in the spring for the big meets, so why should I spend a lot of time training him?' Coach Bernal could have done that, but instead he helps by arranging extra workouts for me."
Ford added that senior backstroker Julian Bott is thinking of going home for the English Olympic trials, and that Dan Watson would be taking time off to try for the U.S. diving team. "There's a good feeling in the squad--everyone's working hard," said Ford. "It's a good feeling when the coach is behind you."
Ford had been a member of the Australian national team since 1979, and went to Ecuador for the 1982 World Championships. He swam the 1500 meters for the Australians in Vancouver in 1981, and in a meet in Japan the same year. There, he ran into Bernal, who urged him to come to Harvard.
Sophomore Peter Egan explained that he had a "pretty decent chance" of making the U.S. Olympic team during the June trials. Ranked ninth in the nation in the 200-meter butterfly, he would have to be one of only two chosen for the event. "It's a big step, but not out of the question."
"Right now I'm still improving, and I can expect to improve a good deal by the end of June," he added. "I'll definitely be there at the trials."
Egan works out twice a day with the Harvard team, once a day on weekends. Like the rest of the team, he works out on weights three times a week, and runs twice weekly. "We're doing a goodly amount of training," he said.