Penn St., Princeton Outlast Aquamen At Easterns in West Point, N.Y.
"Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!"
There may not have been any bears at this weekends' Eastern Swimming Finals in West Point, N.Y., but the Lions and Tigers were out in force. The Harvard men's swimming team was edged out by the Princeton Tigers and the Penn State Nittany Lions, coming in third out of a field of 39 teams with 442 points.
Princeton finished with 528 points, barely getting by a strong Penn State squad that finished with 517.5 points. Pitt (340) and Army (295) were a distant fourth and fifth.
The Crimson did make an impressive showing at the meet. They won several individual events and posed a challenge to the leaders.
In the 200-meter backstroke, senior Paul Watson took first place, while sophomores Tom Peterson and Chris Kovacs captured the third and seventh positions. Harvard swimmers also held three of the top 10 slots in both the 1650-meter and the 200-meter butterfly.
According to Co-Captain Ken Johnson, the Crimson had one of its best showings of the season against stiff competition.
"This was a good meet," Johnson said. "We swam a better meet than Princeton, but they have a couple of talented seniors who came through for them."
Harvard had trouble competing on the diving boards, particularly when compared with an impressive Nittany Lions diving corps.
"Penn State killed us on the diving boards," Johnson admitted. "Four of their divers finished in the top eight. If it wasn't for diving we could have come in second or even been shooting for first."
While the Crimson did not finish first or second, the Harvard swimmers showed that they could compete in the water with any school in the East.
"As a whole we swam well," Johnson said. "If one or two breaks had gone our way we might have won. But that's the nature of the sport--you win some and you lose some. We have nothing to be ashamed of."