Coach Larry Peterson is reserving final judgement on his 1944 swimmers until this Saturday evening when Dartmouth's yearlings travel down to Cambridge for a meet which will decide the success or failure of the Crimson natators season. To date Peterson's pupils have proven themselves no more than a mediocre outfit. The score book states statistically that the Yardlings have whipped M. I. T., Brookline High, and Gardner High, and in turn have been swamped by Brown.
No individual prodigies have shown up to lighten Peterson's cares. The tanklings hold their own, instead, as a solid, well-balanced aggregation. This type of team, explained Peterson, may be beaten by a spectacular squad, but in the long run will give more to future Varsities.
The freestyle sprints are the backbone of Yardling strength. Chid Gabeler has hit 25 seconds flat in the fifty and 57.4 in the hundred; while Big John Eusden was clocked under 57 for the century in the Brown meet but failed to take the race. Dave Barnes, Bill Platt, and Fred Tiemann are the other Freshmen to capture places in the dashes. Bill Hewes has developed into an up-and-coming diver under the tutelage of Peterson, who has been demonstrating Varsity gainers for the past five years. With adequate improvement, Hewes may take the third diving slot on next year's Varsity; but his best performance of 85.2 against Brown seems less exceptional when compared to the 94 of Sophomore ace Shaw McCutcheon in the same meet last year. Dave Saunders is the only other '44 diver of any promise.
Specialty events have become the swimmers' nemesis. Don Harting and Tony Myrer have been most successful in the breaststroke. Harting raced the hundred in 1:17.4 at M. I. T. and the two hundred in 2:50.9 in the Brown contest. Doug Brown and Frank Padgett, who enters the medley relay, have yet to acquire the experience necessary for intercollegiate competition.
Phil Shutt leads a weak collection of backstrokes, who have failed to take a first the entire season. Other swimmers in this event include Hollis Wyman and Bob Rand. Freestyle distance swimmers can not be credited as more than fair by any stretch of the imagination. Barney Saunders, George Christman, and Art Rominus are filling the bill, with Saunders' 2:18.2 for the two hundred in the M. I. T. meet the best time of the group.
The medley relay team, which consisted of Wyman, Padgett, and Vern Head against Brown, has never won its race; but this has in part been remedied by the freestyle relay which has finished first in all four meets. The combination of Platt, Barnes, Eusden, and Gabeler, which looks like the permanent lineup, was clocked at a fast 1:43-2 for the two hundred yards distance against Gardner.
In the future, the Yearlings' main threats will be Dartmouth, Yale, and Andover. The former remains an unknown quantity; but Yale and Andover, which cancelled last weekend's engagement, have powerful aggregations.