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Yale's pride and joy, its swimming team, goes against the Harvard varsity today at 4 p.m. in the IAB, and it appears unlikely that the Crimsons will be able to halt the Elis dual meet winning streak at 51.
Swimming is more popular at Yale than coeducation, and this year's team may be the best in the nation. The Elis were rated fourth at the season's start but clobbered top-ranked Stanford, 71-42, two weeks ago. Among coach Phil Moriarty's standouts are three Olympians--John Nelson, Dave Johnson, and Phil Long.
Harvard, riding high after a thrilling 64-49 upset of Dartmouth, will probably have to be content with some fine individual performances. "We're a full-of-spirit team, and all I can ask of the boys is their very best effort," said Crimson mentor Bill Brooks.
One of the main problems for his team, Brooks, noted, is that Yale has a number of standouts who specialize in particular events, while Harvard has a smaller number of starts who often compete in two or three events each. This strategy is successful against many of the Crimson opponents, he said, but against a team of Yale's talent and depth it can have only limited success.
A glance at comparative times in also discouraging. In the latest weekly top time list released by Swimming World Magazine. Eli swimmers led the nation in six events, were second in two more, and had four other top-ten clockings. Only a handful of performances by Harvard swimmers have earned mention.
The most likely Crimson candidate to earn a first is diver Bill Murphy. Murphy is probably the best diver in the league, and should be able to beat Yale's Paul Priebe in both the one-meter and the three-meter.
Harvard's other hopefuls are freestylers Stave Krause, Dave Powlison, Toby Gerhart, and Mike Cahalan. All four have been outstanding this season, and if the Elis should for some reason not be mentally up for the meet, a couple of them might net firsts.
The meet with Yale today should reveal just how good Krause is. Despite the large number of events in which he has competed, Krause has not been beaten by a member of an opposing team all season. With competition like Nelson and Johnson, Krause could be pushed to a record performance, and perhaps another victory.
Yale has already clinched its eighth Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League crown in the last ten years, and today's meet should serve mostly as a springboard to upcoming national tournaments. The Crimson has lost two league meets and will probably complete its season with a 5-3 record for a fourth-place finish.
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