Belying their alma mater's reputation of physical infirmity, Harvard University varsity teams last year recorded the highest winning percentage in the Ivy League for the sixth straight year.
Only three Crimson teams won league championships--squash, hockey and soccer--but 16 of the 17 varsity squads compiled records of .500 or better. The basketball quintet, traditionally an occupant of the nether reaches of the Ivy League, was the only team to lose more games than it won.
Harvard teams posted 134 victories and 71 defeats for a winning percentage of .652. Princeton finished in second place with a .600 percentage, with Yale third at .595.
While enjoying consistent success against its Ivy brethren, Harvard also produced two teams of national calibre. The ice hockey team won the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) post-season tournament and was thus crowned Eastern champions. The Crimson sextet also won the Boston Arena Christmas tournament in addition to the Ivy title, and finished with an over-all record of 21-3-2.
The squash team ran its two-year victory string to 20 matches by recording a perfect 10-0 season. In addition Crimson players won both the Intercollegiate nine-man title and the United States Squash Racquets Association five-man championship.
Harvard's three champions were all repeaters from the year before, when Crimson varsities swept six of the fifteen Ivy titles (there is no championship for heavyweight and lightweight crew). The squads that failed to retain their top positions were football, swimming, and indoor track.
After losing early games to Cornell and Dartmouth (the undefeated champion) the football squad won its last four games to finish in second place with a 5-2 record. Although Dartmouth will again be the team to beat, the Crimson could be a strong contender this season if sophomores come through at two key positions, halfback and tackle.
In fact all Crimson teams will benefit from the influx of one of the best freshman classes in history. Last year freshman teams won 54 games and lost only nine in the Ivy League for a percentage of .846. In five sports the Yardlings were undefeated: football, tennis, outdoor track, light and heavyweight crew.