Closing up the first half of the season undefeated, the Harvard men's swim team extended its winning streak to five by handily smashing Syracuse, 77-36, last Saturday at Blodgett Pool.
Though the competition was not particularly fierce, the Crimson men turned in some fabulous performances. Sophomore John Pearson won the 1000-yard freestyle--the meet's longest race--and then got back up on the starting block for the next event, the 200-yard freestyle (a sprint), and again came away with the victory.
Watson Flies High
Also, the meet marked the last home contest for All-American Dan Watson, Harvard's star diver and tri-captain who finished his career at Blodgett by setting new pool and varsity records for one-and three-meter diving. He remains undefeated in dual meets.
Watson is finishing his Harvard career this semester (one semester late) because he took off the spring term two years ago to train for the Olympics. At the Olympic trials, he placed third in 10-meter platform competition--behind the two Americans who eventually ended up with the gold and silver medals--to gain a spot as first alternate.
As a freshman at Harvard, Watson won the 10-meter competition at Senior Nationals. And this past summer he took second at the Senior Nationals, only three points behind the 1984 Olympic gold medalist on the 10-meter platform.
He also placed second at the World Student Games held in Kobe, Japan, leading the U.S. National Diving Team to an overall victory over both the Chinese and the Russians.
Watson plans to use next semester to train with the U.S. National Team--he has been a member since 1981--in Austin, Texas, for February's DDR Championships in East Germany, and for the World Aquatic Championships which will be held in Madrid, Spain.
After that, Watson's attention will shift to the real world and medical school in the fall.
In addition to posting incredible personal performances, Watson has shown himself to be a team player.
Though the swimming and diving teams are usually not terribly close--differing in practice times and, perhaps, in philosophy--Tri-Captain Tim Ford says that "he [Watson] really brought the teams together."
Watson's election as captain, an extremely rare occurrence for divers, is testimony to his popularity on the team. "His humor, his attitude... We're going to miss him a lot, an awful lot," Ford said.
Freshman Bob Morrison's performance was exemplary as well. Elected by the team's upperclassmen as this year's Iron Man, he won the dubious honor of swimming every event--and completing three 500-yard swims during each of the two diving events--for a total of 5800 yards, or three-and-a-half miles.
"Bob did a helluva job," Watson said. "We're extremely pleased with his performance."