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New York, March 20--The possibility looms large that Yale's great swimming team, considered in many quarters to be the strongest ever to represent one institution, may sweep every one of the 11 titles which will be at stake today and tomorrow in the fifth annual invitation Championships conducted by the Eastern Intercollegiate League. Appropriately enough, they will take place in the Payne Whitney Pool at New Haven.
Coach Hal Ulen of the Harvard Varsity swimming team yesterday named the following men as his entries: John Eusden in the 50 and 100-yard free style swim, Captain-elect Bill Drucker in the 150-yard backstroke, Bus Curwen in the 200-yard breastroke, Dave Barnes, George Christman and Captain Tom Shrewsbury in the 440-yard free style, and a medley relay team composed of Drucker, Curwen, and Eusden. Shrewsbury will also compete in the 220-yard free style race.
Sixteen colleges extending along the Atlantic seaboard from New Hampshire to North Carolina have entered 91 contestants whose combined ability constitutes one of the strongest fields in several years. Of all the championship marks see in the past, only one--the 2:51.9 medley relay effort of Vande Weghe, Hough and Van Oss of Princeton--seems beyond the reach of the current crop of mermen. Any of the others may conceivably go by the boards.
Yale Is Mythical Champion
Having swept through the league season unbeaten for the fourth year in a row; chalking up three new dual meet records and turning in the best performances in eight of nine events, the Elis may well improve upon their 1941 performance at Annapolis when they took eight of the 11 titles. The 59 to 16 walloping they gave Michigan, Big Ten champion, last month, assures Bob Kiphuth's men a clear claim to the mythical national title.
It is in the 50-yard dash that the Blue will receive some of its stiffest competition. Last year's winner, Garrett of the Army, has graduated, but among those who are likely successors to this crown are Ed Hueber of Penn, John Eusden of Harvard and Jack Pulleyn of Yale. All have been under 24 seconds, Hueber's best effort being a 23.4 recorded against Army on February 14. Tony Bernabel of Princeton, Dick Keating and the Lilley brothers, Jack and Frank, all of Yale, are others who stand out at this distance.
Johnson Favored in 100
The Elis' captain, Howie Johnson, seems an almost certain bet to retain his title in the 100. He has twice done 51.6 this year, almost a full second better than his nearest rival, Ed Hall of Massachusetts State, who is credited with a 52.5 effort. Dartmouth's Fred Worthen, Dave St. John, Columbia sophomore, Hueber of Penn, Tom Britton, Pulleyn, Kelley and Ed Pope, all of Yale, are among the score of topflight entries in the century.
It looks like a double for Johnson this weekend, for the Elis' leader is also well below the field in the furlong. His 2:09.9 in the 220 against Dartmouth on February 14 broke a five-year mark established in 1937 by the great Charlie Hutter of Harvard, Fred Worthem set a new Dartmouth record of 2:14 earlier this month and Ed Jones and Bill Trubee of Princeton are also threats in this event. Rene Chouteau, ace middle distance man on the large Yale squad, is another entrant who shines in the 220.
Chouteau Defends Title
Chouteau's best efforts, however, will probably be registered in the 440, where he is defending champion. His marks in the quarter mile have twice this season broken Bill Kendall's old dual meet record of 4:50.5 and Chouteau is now exactly three seconds under this time. John Storrs of Dartmouth is likely to push him hardest, the Indians' star having turned in a 4:54.9 clocking again Pennsylvania on March 7. Bill Trubee of Princeton was unbeaten at this distance but has not been below 5:06. Warren Fisher of Cornell, Dave Barnes of Harvard, Arras, Peters and MacLeman of Yale are others whose ability in this event is worthy of respect.
A University of North Carolina sophomore, Denman Hammond, looms as one of the outstanding entries in the 150-yard backstroke. He recently, shaved a tenth of a second from the national collegiate long course record in this event, being timed in 1:41.5. He has been done as far as 1:38.7 over the short course and gives promise of doing even better.
Dannenbaum, Meyer Also Favored
The defending champion, Dannenbaum of Yale, seems slated to retain his laurels, since he has been clocked as low as 1:35.5 this season. Tom Shaud of Princeton, Bill Drucker of Harvard and George Lilley of Massachusetts State will provide stiff competition for Dannenbaum.
One of the best entry lists in the entire meet has been compiled in the 200-yard breaststroke, in which John Meyer of Yale is the favorite. His consistent ability to negotiate the distance in a fraction over 2:25 serves to rank him ahead of such butterflies as Arvid Croonquist of the Army, Joe Jodka of Massachusetts State, John Podgorski of Concord College and Charlie Gantner of Rutgers. Jodka and Gantner are possible surprise winners, both having done 2:26 this winter.
Elis Out For Medley Record
Yale's medley relay team, to be composed in all probability of Dannenbaum, Davidge or Twigg-Smith and Pope, is the only unit in this event which seems virtually certain of going under three minutes. However, Army, Massachusetts State, North Carolina and Rutgers head the list of the Elis' rivals who may register a triumph here.
Having set a world's record at Michigan in the 400-yard freestyle relay of 3:27 and a fraction, the Blue mermen can field a quartet in this event which is about the best advance bet in the meet. Bob Kiphuth can choose four of the nine men he has entered and beat any other relay team to the finish by several seconds. Princeton's group of Sullivan, Jones, Bernabei and Clark is probably good for about a 3:35 effort, however, while Worthem, Storrs, Feldman and Noble have done 3:37 for Dartmouth.
The high and low board dives and an individual 300-yard medley race round out the program. Jim Cook, Yale's defending champion, may duplicate the double he scored in both diving events last year, but not before he outpoints such entries as Harvard's Shaw McCutcheon. Ralph Buratti, Rutgers' talented young sophomore, Jim Naylor of Syracuse, Jim Russell of Loyola College at Baltimore, Con Doran from Princeton and Bill Cant of Penn.
Four sessions, scheduled for 2:30 and 8:15 both today and tomorrow, are listed on the program. Finals in the 50 and 220 freestyle events, the backstroke, low-board dive and medley relay are billed for tomorrow night, with the balance of the champions to be crowned Saturday evening. The complete list of colleges entered includes Army, Brooklyn College, Columbia, Concord (Athens, W. Va.), Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Loyola, Massachusetts State, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Rutgers, Springfield, Syracuse and Yale.
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