Harvard men's swimming plunges into the fray today, facing off against a water-borne Army squad in West Point, New York. It shouldn't be much of a battle.
The real Army--fully decked out in uniform--would have a better chance of sinking the Crimson.
"We don't expect Army to be too strong this year" Harvard Co-Captain Ed Owen said. "We have a really deep team and should be able to prevail."
Deep, dominating, and determined--some might even say destined. The bottom line is that this Harvard squad can flat-out swim.
On the Defensive
Last year's Harvard unit capped its season with a victory at Easterns, and this year's squad appears ready to defend its crown.
"We definitely have the potential to win the Easterns again," Owen said.
"It won't be easy, but we have the talent and depth to do it," he added.
On paper, Harvard boasts the perfect mixture of experience and youth. Nine seniors return, fronted by senior tri-captains Owen, Dave Knauert, and Stephen Root. Joining their elders in the swim will be 12 touted recruits.
Among the brightest in the pool of stars should be senior Simon Wainwright, junior Sean Gouldson, and sophomore Tim Carver--a trio of returning qualifiers from last year's NCAA tournament.
Harvard didn't take home any hardware at last year's national meet--but look for Wainwright, Gouldson, and Carver to improve on their times and repeat as NCAA qualifiers.
Ultimately, though, Harvard's success just might hinge on the rooks. If the Crimson wants to stave off tough competition in New Haven and Princeton, it will need a full team effort.
The talent is there. With a mixture of confidence and hard work, Harvard could walk home with a second straight Easterns crown--and a poolful of individual honors.