Harvard All-American butterflyer Neville Hayes suited up for last Saturday's crucial meet with Dartmouth--but he had no intentions of swimming. The former world record holder, undefeated in dual meet competition at Harvard, had decided to quit the team.
Hayes, silver medalist in the 200 meter butterfly at the 1960 Rome Olympics, said Wednesday that he had dressed only to prevent any changes in the Indian lineup.
Speaking with a slight trace of his native Australia, Hayes explained why he had to give up swimming.
"I came to Harvard to study," he said, "I'm very interested in business--I've applied to the Business School--and I don't want to jeopardize my chances at admission by putting in the 10-15 hours a week in the pool which I'd need to keep winning.
In addition to lacking time to practice, Hayes said that he lacked much of the necessary enthusiasm. He no longer has the desire which had driven him, through 15 years of rigorous training, to great success in international competition.
"Every athlete requires a certain level of enthusiasm to keep going as he gets older," the 23-year old senior said, "and ever since Rome, even though I broke my world record a couple of times, I've been gradually losing it."
Hayes almost did not come out at all this winter, but he finally decided to "give it a try." Just before vacation, bogged down with 20 hours a week of part time work and pressured by his studies, he realized that he could not continue.
When he told Coach Bill Brooks of his decision, Brooks was very understanding, he said, but asked him to think it over during the holiday. Hayes did--the answer was still, and finally, no.
So, one of the great Harvard swimming careers came to a close. Although Nevills Hayes will never again churn through the 200 'fly for the Crimson, he has already set a brace of remarkable records:
* Harvard Varsity record, 200 yd. butterfly--1:57.4.
* Harvard Pool Record, 200 yd. butterfly--1:57.4.
* Harvard Freshman Record, 200 yd. butterfly--2:00.5.
Assistant coach Benn Merritt said Monday that there is much more to Neville Hayes than his swimming ability: "We'll miss him much more as an individual, as a person, than we'll ever miss the points he might have scored."
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