The Harvard men's swimming team successfully tuned up for the Eastern Seaboard Championships this weekend at Blodgett Pool, racing past Boston University yesterday, 58-55, and Yale Saturday, 60-42.
In doing so, the Crimson was able to qualify more swimmers for the Eastern meet, held this Thursday through Saturday at West Point, N.Y.
Harvard (10-2 overall, 7-2 ECAC, 6-1 Ivy League) has won Easterns for the past eight years in a row, but will be given a strong challenge by a Princeton team that soundly defeated it in their dual meet three weeks ago in New Jersey.
As a result of the victory over Yale, the Crimson wind up in second place in the Ivy League to Princeton, but wish to avoid a similar finish at Easterns. Whether Harvard can rebound from a 44-point defeat to the Tigers and capture its ninth straight Eastern Seaboard championship--which would break the record of eight straight set by Yale from 1963 to 1970--remains to be seen.
Despite the doubters, Harvard Coach Joe Bernal thinks his team can win. "For us to take Easterns," Bernal said, "I need lifetime-best performances. Anything can happen at that meet, and I'm sure we'll be in the thick of it."
Neither meet this weekend was as close as the score indicated, as the Crimson swam several swimmers under exhibition status after the meets had been clinched.
Yale had an early 6-3 lead after the 200-yd. freestyle, but was swept in the next event, the 50 freestyle, and never seriously challenged again. Harvard never trailed against the Terriers, building up a 51-28 advantage before coasting through the final four races.
The real story of the weekend was the emergence of several Crimson freshmen, posting times that could make them point-earners at Easterns. Several yardlings qualified for the trip to Army and look ready to be decisive down the stretch.
Co-Captain Dan Simkowitz praised the efforts of the Class of '90, especially Stuart Hirsch, George Imredy, Michael Lin and Kresimir Peharda. "A spirit of unity has really developed among the freshmen on the team," Simkowitz said, "and they are beginning to show the talent that they have."
The two meets also marked the final races at Blodgett Pool for Harvard's six seniors. Saturday, immediately before the Yale matchup, Hugh Murray, Clay Miller, Bill Cleveland, Jim Kornish, and Co-Captains Simkowitz and Lars Reierson were given awards commemorating their dedication to the team.
Three of the Crimson seniors finished their dual meet careers in winning form. Simkowitz participated in the 400 medley relay, along with Kornish, junior Jeff Peltier and freshman Stu Hirsch, and they were able to touch out the B.U. team at the wire for first place.
In the Yale meet, Simkowitz picked up his final individual victory, finishing ahead of the field in the 200 backstroke. Kornish also picked up a first-place showing, grabbing the 100 freestyle against B.U. with a time of 46.97.
Reierson likewise closed out his Blodgett Pool career in style, snaring the 200 backstroke yesterday and posting a 1:56.46 time in the process.
Junior Dave Berkoff and sophomore Keith Kaplan were the only two aquamen to pick up three firsts over the weekend. Berkoff earned the top spot in both the 200 individual medley Saturday and 50 freestyle yesterday. Kaplan, meanwhile, dominated the sprints versus the Elis, capturing both the 50 and 100 freestyle races.
Both swimmers teamed up with Bill Bird and Mike Lin to swipe the 400 medley relay from Yale. Bird took another victory against B.U., as the junior proved golden in the 200 butterfly. Lin also placed first in the 200 individual medley against the Terriers.
Other victories in the Yale meet came from freshman George Imredy, who captured the 200 butterfly, and diver Pat Healy, who proved tops on both the one-and three-meter boards. Healy swept the B.U. divers as well, but dove unofficially.
Additional Terrier tamers were junior John Pearson, winning the 200 freestyle, and Hirsch, who claimed the 200 breaststroke.