The impressive list of early-season tank triumphs is still mounting up, but real tests have yet to come. Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, and Springfield are the hurdles between the Ulenmen and a successful season; other members of the Eastern Intercollegiate League have little chance of engineering upsets, and good little teams like Williams and Amherst (Springfield excepted) consistently refuse to appear on the Harvard schedule. So the rest of the schedule includes various boys clubs and Memorial societies.
Yale is the traditional rival, but some-how most of the interest is concentrated on the Princeton meet. Coach Ulen is not conceding anything to any opponent, but as long as the Elis refuse to swim Michigan, they are like Joe Louis taking on a series of fly-weights in title defense bouts. There simply is no stiff competition for Yale in the East.
The Dartmouth meet is more important than usual, principally because the Indians and Coach Michael think they have an excellent chance of winning. (Dartmouth has never beaten a Harvard swimming team). Springfield offers about as strong a challenge as the Big Green, and at this writing it appears that Coach Ulen has too many cards up his sleeve for either opponent. Princeton will be a different proposition, however, especially because the meet will be held in antiquated Brokaw pool, more like an old-fashioned bathtub than any-thing else.
Captain Frannie Powers is one of the main reasons for Crimson tank optimism this winter. He was getting nowhere fast in the 220 last year and then suddenly blossomed forth this year as another Cutier. Powers' great capacity for work has helped him whittle four of five seconds from his 220 time and one all-important second from his 100. He has dropped from 54 plus to 53 plus in the century. Lonnie Stowell and Ted McNitt are two other standout members of the free-style brigade. Both are big Seniors, Stowell a seasoned veteran, and McNitt a late-comer to the Varsity. Last year he was a House swimmer, and now he is paired with Stowell in the 50. McNitt's 50 against Brown was one of the best meet performances by a Harvard swimmer in that event in several years. Stowell is a consistent 54 man in the century and may dip down below that figure any time.
With talented Senior Art Bosworth performing up to his capabilities in key meets in the backstroke (as well as doing some free-style chores), Harvard will have good strength in the specialty events. Sophomore Bill Drucker is fast enough right now to give Bosworth a run for his money, and Dick Harris and Al Mathis are capable spares. The number one man in the other specialty field is Senior Bob White, a converted free-styler and a bear for work, who has been improving by leaps and bounds. One of his big problems right now is to translate practice times into meet performances and eliminate a few of Hal Ulen's worries. Roger Wilcox and Max Kraus are battling it out for the second job, with Krans, having the edge. Sophomore Sandy Houston is an outside possibility for the medley assignment.
Powers' running mate in the 220 is powerful Bus Curwen, who gets better the further he goes. He probably need more work to cut his 220 time down to where it should be, but already he is one of the best 440 men in the East. His partner in the quarter is Frank "Tiny" German, a continual source of amazement to his mates. German will pick up many a valuable second or third this winter.
The divers will also be above average for in Shaw McCutcheon and Brad Patterson, Harvard has as good a pair of Sophomore springboard men as any team in the League. Diving mentor Peterson has been nursing them along carefully, and the effort will soon pay big dividends.
There are several important problems confronting Hal Ulen at the present time. He could use another good 100 man in the worst way--to fill out his relay quartet or to tuck on the end of the medley in close meets. Dave Stearns, Bob Sceery, Tom Shrewsbury, and Tom Godfrey are all in the running for this job, but it is still a wide-open fight. Captain Frannie Powers, Lonnie Stowell, and Art Bosworth are almost certain to swim three of the legs in a vital relay, and the above-mentioned four reserves, in addition to 50 man Ted McNitt, are battling for the last place on the relay.
If that free-style gap is plugged, if the breaststroke division continues to show improvement and if Senior Art Bosworth can flip over on his back and score important wins in two or three meets. Harvard will have a very successful tank season.