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With Yale's easy victory over the swimming team on Wednesday night, another unsuccessful aquatic season draws to a close. It has become quite the custom now to read of Harvard's defeats in the water; when the team wins, it is actually an occasion for surprise. People not too familiar with conditions here wonder at the cause for this succession of routs, they smile at the facility with which the smaller colleges snatch contest after contest from Harvard, and they grope vaguely for the reason for our pitiful lack of prowess in swimming.
The root of the evil is not difficult to find. Struggling under the handicap of having to commute from Cambridge to the Boston Y. M. C. A. for their thrice-weekly practice under a coach who is already busy training Andover and Technology, the swimming team faces hardships that can be approximated in no other Eastern college which makes a pretense of fostering swimming. The University boasts of no pool of its own; the excuse for a tank known as the Big Tree Pool has as much value for developing a team as the oversized bath-tubs in the basement of Westmorly or Claverly Hall.
Swimming never has success, nor will it until a real pool is established here. There is no reason why we should not turn out a winning team as we have done in other sports; undoubtedly there is as much swimming material at Harvard as there is at other universities, but the incentive is lacking. The difficulties of practice and the questionable reward of swimming as part of an aggregation constantly foredoomed to lose, offer obstacles effectually forbidding to the majority of those who have natatorial ability.
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