In the last meet of what has been a fairly undistinguished season. Harvard's swimmers finally seem to have reached their long-awaited peaks.
In the first two days of the Eastern Seaboard championships at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, the Crimson's mainstays have smashed two University records, and avenged numerous losses to teams they already met in dual meets.
Thursday night, sophomore Pete Adams smashed the Harvard mark in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing third, and outstroking from the start Yale's Rick Schneider, who had beaten him last Saturday in New Haven.
Adams qualified for the finals in the afternoon with an electrifying 5:03.2 time. He broke 1965 captain Dave Abramson's record by 2 seconds, and improved his own previous best by 2.7 seconds. Adams then proceeded to cut his time to 4:59.1 in the finals, defeating Schneider, but losing to Army's Jay Williams and Navy's Tim Beard.
Adams also swam the third leg of the 400-yard freestyle relay. Harvard qualified for the finals yesterday afternoon, breaking another record with a 3:15.7 performance. Adams hung up his fastest 100-yard split, 48.5 seconds. Jim Seubold led off in 50.4 seconds, a time he should lower in the finals against Yale and Navy. Phil Chase followed in 48.4 seconds, finally reaching the stardom long predicted for him Bill Shrout anchored the quarter--which avenged losses to Army and Princeton--in 48.4 seconds.
Shrout and Adams, resting for the finals of the relay, coasted and finished in the bottom two slots in the consolation finals of the 200-yard freestyle.
In the 100-yards breaststroke, captain Bruce Fowler and junior Bob Corris tied for third in 1:01.5 behind Yale's Mike Buckley who won in 1:01.
Neville Hayes swam his fastest time of the year (1:57.6) but was unable to beat North Carolina's Olympian Phil Riker in the 200-yard butterfly. Hayes did not leave the starting blocks until the other finalists hit the water, but he nearly caught Riker midway through the race. However, Riker had too much left and held off a tired Hayes to win by two feet 1:56.9. It was a heartbreaker. Hayes, despite his poor start, was still able to hold off Yale's Bill Mettler for the second race in a row. It was Hayes' first loss this season.
With two days left in the championships, Harvard stood fifth. But the Crimson may be able to move up in the team standings. Corris could avenge his loss to Buckley in the 200-yard breaststroke, and Shrout could place in the 100-yards freestyle.