WEST POINT, N.Y.--Pre-meet favorite Princeton sprinted away from the rest of the field to take the lead after the completion of the first of three days of competition at the Eastern Seaboard Swimming Championships. Harvard is presently third.
The Tigers, on the strength of 26 points in the one-meter drive and the team's depth, piled up 110 points to second place North Carolina State, 71, and the third place Crimson, 68. Harvard's first day total was 19 more than the team scored at last year's meet.
It was in the afternoon heat instead of the evening final that Harvard swam its best time as three University records were set in the trial and were not matched in the championship races.
Captain Fred Mitchell turned in an outstanding performance in the heats of the 500-yd. free, swimming the distance in a very fast 4:41.949. The time was two seconds under the old record, held by Rich Baughman, set at last year's Easterns at Yale.
Baughman, who took second in the event last year, failed to match that performance even though he swam a faster time. His 4:45.507 clocking did not qualify him for the final, but in the consolations he took a strong second--good for five points--with a time of 4:42.137, just fractions off Mitchell's record.
The 500-yd. final went to Curtis Haydon of Princeton, as the diminutive distance freestyler pulled away from Tom Schmidt of South Carolina to lower the Eastern record he set in the event last year to an excellent 4:32.915. Mitchell, swimming in the outside lane, was separated by Schmidt and Haydon from his main competition and finished sixth in 4:43.82.
Harvard placed two men in the finals of the next event, the 200-yd. individual medley. Dave Brumwell lowered his University record in the event to a fast 1:57.416 in the heat, while teammate Hess Yntema moved into the evening final with a 1:58.554 performance.
Penn's Bob Atkinson, who had broken the Eastern record in the event in his afternoon trial, shaved a few more fractions of a second off that mark in winning the evening's final in 1:55.006. Yntema and Brumwell were unable to keep pace with the Penn star, but they finished a strong three-four. Yntema swam the best time of his career at 1:57.622 while Brumwell faded just a bit but still swam second best in his career with a 1:57.759 clocking.
Tim Neville qualified third in the 50-yd. free finals, but despite the exhortations of the Crimson bench, he finished second to the favorite, Rex Hand of Navy. Hand broke the 21-second barrier with a new Eastern record time of 20.998, while Neville's 21.297 was just fractions off his school record performance of a week ago.
The fourth event on the first day's program, the one-meter drive, proved to be the Crimson's greatest disappointment of the evening as freshman diver Dave English failed to make the final round of 12.
English was 13th after the third round, only one point out of tenth. But despite his failure to make the finals, he dove extremely well with only a four-and-a-half on a difficult two-and-a-half twister preventing him from scoring.
Defending champion Larry More of Cornell easily repeated his win of last year with an impressive winning total of 492.15. North Carolina State, with four divers in the top 12, took 21 points in the event and Penn picked up a surprising 20 as both gained ground on the Crimson.
The Crimson 400-yd. medley relay qualified third for the evening final with a new school record 3:33.421 performance, with the team of Tom Wolfe, Dave Brumwell, Hess Yntema, and Fred Mitchell dropped down to sixth in the final although it virtually equalled its time in the trial with a 3:33.8 performance.
Princeton finished off the evening as it began it, with a win, beating Yale in a good time of three minutes 29.321. It was the only Eastern record that did not fall on the first evening.