A disqualification in the 400 medley relay threw the proverbial monkey wrench into the Harvard aqua-machine on Thursday, but the Crimson swimmers overcame the setback yesterday to surge to a 264-248 lead over second place Princeton at the Eastern Intercollegiate Swim League Championships being held at Princeton, N.J.
Harvard qualified in the relay event by posting the second fastest time in the trials and was probably on its way to a victory in the finals behind the career-best times of lead-off men Tom Wolfe in the backstroke and breaststroker Ted Fullerton.
But after Hess Yntema swam the fastest 50 yards of his life in the first laps of the butterfly, he "swallowed four or five gulps of water, Harvard assistant coach Joe McGuire said. "He stopped for a second," McGuire said, "and must have slipped in a breaststroke or so when he started up again."
The relay team was disqualified and lost 32 first place points. "That really hurt," McGuire said, "especially when you see we were behind Princeton by 31 at the end of the first day, 131-100."
The rest of the events on Thursday went much better for the Crimson swimmers though, as they grabbed two important first places in the 200 individual medley and the 50 freestyle.
Sophomore star Yntema swam the 200 IM in 1:54.19 to set a handful of records, including a pool, meet, university and personal best. Teammate Dave Brumwell also shattered the old Harvard record in his second-place finish of 1:55.7.
The Crimson's Tim Neville out-thrashed a classy field to take first in the 500 free in the time of 21.2. In the 500 free, Harvard freshman long distance sensation Peter Tetlow placed third in 4:38 (his best) behind Curtis Hayden and Joe Loughran of Princeton.
The Tigers also piled up a large number of points in the one meter diving contest as they took first and second with the Crimson's Dave English finishing fifth.
In yesterday's events, Brumwell captured a first in the 400 IM in 4:07.4--a personal record--and Neil Martin and Brent Haywood provided scoring depth by placing fourth and fifth to pull Harvard within 15, 155-140.
Yntema added a first in the 200 free. Mitchell, George Keim and Neville tallied points in the 200 free and also the 100 fly to bring Harvard within three, 194-191.
Ted Fullerton grabbed first in the 100 breast in 59.50, captain Phil Jonckheer, took sixth in the same event, and the Harvard 800-yard freestyle relay team finished first and suddenly it was Harvard that was pulling away from the rest of the field, 264-248.
Yntema Is Key
Harvard's hopes in today's competition depend on defending champion Yntema having an outstanding effort in the 200 fly and on Brumwell and Fullerton sweeping the 200 breast. Neville will have to repeat his 50 free performance in the 100 free and Harvard will have to outclass the rest of the East in the 400 free relay, the last event, to wrap up a meet victory.
"We're not in bad shape," McGuire said, "but we certainly can not afford to make any mistakes. If everything just goes right...."