WEST POINT, N.Y.--Princeton romped to an easy win in the three-day Eastern Seaboard Swimming Championships which ended here Saturday, but North Carolina State, Harvard, and Pennsylvania provided a great deal of excitement.
The Wolfpack passed the Crimson in the final event to win the battle for second-place by an incredibly slim half-point margin.
The three teams, which went through the entire course of the championships locked in a very tight head-to-head fight for the runner-up spot, began the evening with just nine points separating the second-day leader Harvard from fourth-place N.C. State. The Wolfpack, faltering early in the final evening, closed with a rush, picking up a crucial first in the 3-meter dive and a runaway record win in the 400-yd. freestyle relay to catch the Crimson at the finish.
Despite this Harvard concluded its finest Easterns ever with a flurry of new record breaking performances, and the slender margin by which it was finally edged out for second detracts very little from another excellent team effort by coach Don Gambril's small nucleus of talented swimmers.
Crimson swimmers had their finest day on Saturday, breaking five University records, in every case their own, to bring to 12 the number of Harvard marks which fell. It was the most prolific evening of the three, as the Crimson, picking up steam each day, breaking three marks on Thursday and four on Friday.
After turning in its best afternoon in the heats, qualifying first in one event, second in two, and fourth and fifth in the other two, Harvard began the evening finals auspiciously. Rich Baughman, seeded fifth in the last and usually decisive heat of the 1650-yd. freestyle, started slowly but gathered momentum to pass faltering Ralph Baric of rival North Carolina State and eventually, with 50 yards to go, Tom Schmidt of South Carolina, to finish a surprising second behind defending champion Curtis Haydon of Princeton.
His time of 16:10.656 was three seconds off the school record time of 16:07.43 he set last year at the nationals, but the unexpected second-place swim ignited the Crimson, and it continued to equal or surpass expectations almost all evening, fighting courageously for a team second. Baughman thus closed out the meet with a 10th-place in the 400-IM, an 8th in the 500-yd. freestyle, along with his final second, a fine comeback from a month of illness in January.
Tim Neville capped off a fine meet in the next event, the 100-yd, free, as he took a fast second behind Charlie Campbell of Princeton. After shaving four-tenths of a second off his own University record in the afternoon preliminaries with a very fast 46.891, he swam an incredible 46.376 in the finals to Campbell's 46.123 as both went under the old Eastern record set by Bob Kastings of Yale last year.
Neville concluded a third consecutive day of scoring, as he totaled 35 points in three individual races in two second and one seventh place finishes. Harvard, in fact, averaged a high 30 points per man, as eight overworked swimmers accounted for all of the Crimson's 240-point third-place total.
In the consolation finals of the 100-yd. free, captain Fred Mitchell added a third place performance, good for tenth overall, to an earlier record breaking sixth in the 500-yd. free, fourth in the 200-yd. free, and legs on Crimson relays which took sixth, third, and third. It was a steady if not particularly outstanding three days for the Crimson junior.
But despite a 2-10 Harvard finish, North Carolina State, with three men in the consolation and one in the finals of the 100-yd. free, took over third from Penn and moved towards Harvard in the second. It was the Quakers, however, which took over the runner-up spot in the next event, the 200-yd. backstroke.
Penn, with a totally unexpected 1-2-3 sweep, picked up a large chunk of 41 points and gained 32 points on Harvard to tie the Crimson for second with 187 points apiece. Tom Wolf, after lowering his Harvard record to 1:57.343 in the afternoon heats in qualifying fourth, switched to the unfamiliar and questionably legal roll turns the other backstrokers were getting away with, but faded to sixth in the final with a disappointing 1:58.747.
Harvard's hopes for second were dealt a damaging, but necessarily fatal blow by the Penn performance, which was coupled with the collapse of a tired Charlie Campbell in the race, but the Crimson continued to fight for its life. Dave Brumwell, qualifying second with a new Harvard record time of 2:11.961 in the 200-yd. breaststroke, well under his previous record time of 2:13.2, lowered his mark to an excellent 2:10.853 clocking in the evening final to take an important second.
Brumwell's finish, on top of previous record setting fourths and sixths in the 200 and 400-yd. IM, was, however, over shadowed by the performance of Hess Yntema in the next race. Yntema completed an excellent meet as he became the first individual Harvard winner at the Easterns since Mike Cahalan in 1968 when he won the 200-yd. butterfly in a new Eastern and Harvard record time of 1:52.411. Yntema also added a fine third in the 200-yd. IM, and a second in the 100-yd. fly.
Finally, the 400-yd. free relay of Mitchell, Neville, Mike Cook, and Yntema came within 013 of finishing second in the race and the meet, as it swam an excellent record-shattering 3:08.536 for the third behind N.C. State and Penn. in a disappointing ending to a great team effort.