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Smyly Stars as Army Hands Swimmers First Loss, 43-32


Lightning struck the same spot for the second year in a row. The lightning was Cadet captain Jim Smyly, the spot was the last 100 yards of the Harvard-Army swimming meet, and the result was that the Crimson got its first setback, 43 to 32, at West Point Saturday.

The Crimson turned in by far its best performance of the season; its brilliance took even Coach Hal Ulen completely by surprise. But Harvard's best wasn't good enough against the greatest sprinter in West Point history.

Two Cadet Marks Topple

Smyly was the whole difference, as he shattered the Army 100-yard freestyle record (52 seconds) by half a second, and anchored both the 400-yard freestyle relay team, which clipped 1.4 seconds off the 3:34.5 Cadet record, and the 300-yard medley relay team, which swam in 3:01.8, one tenth of a second faster than the time which established a new Army record last year in the Blockhouse (broken later in 1949).

After John Steinhart, Billy Graham, and Bob Stroud had fallen before Army's medley relay powerhouse, Bob Berke swam the fastest 220 yards of his career 2:15.3 to beat Cadets Jack Craigie and Harvey Prosser.

Captain Joe Fox won the 50-yard free in 23.8 seconds, but Army took second and third. Dan Rogers, the military academy's brilliant diver, piled up 109.6 points. Gordie Weir took second to beat teammate Win Briggs for the first time in two years.

Crimson Sweeps Backstroke

Smyly was unbeatable in the 100-yard free. Fox took second and Norm Watkins third, but Army now held a five-point margin. The Crimson seized the lead for the only time in the meet with a sweep of the 150-yard backstroke by the steadily improving John Steinhart and Tom Woods. The winning time was 1:40.4.

Cadet Dick Steuart won by a body-length with a 2:34 time in the 200-yard breaststroke. Rene Vielman kept the Crimson hopes alive by barely edging John Smith for second.

With Army leading, 30 to 29, the vis- itors needed at least a second place in the 440-yard freestyle to stay in the meet. Bob Tolf put on a spirited last lap drive, and it was just enough to nip Joe Knittle by a touch, as Army's Jack Craigie won in 5:03.5.

Shades of Yesteryear

With the Cadets leading by only four points, the meet hung on the last race, the 400-yard freetslye relay. It was the same story as last year, when the score was tied at 34 to 34 in the Indoor Athletic Building.

Norm Watkins, Shep Brown, and Bob Berke built up a slim lead over Dewhom the meet depended, this time as Armond, Presser, and Irwin. Joe Fox and Smyly were once again the men on opposing captains.

With Smyly finishing off the last 100 yards in less than 51 seconds, no Harvard team in history could have beaten the Cadets. The Crimson quartet finished less than two tenths of a second behind the Harvard record of 3:33.2.

"I don't need to say how glad I am we will never have to swim against Smyly again," quoth Ulen

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