The Harvard swim team began the 1978 season with a splash by swamping Columbia, 76-37, at Blodgett Pool Saturday.
An outstanding group of freshmen, along with a well-prepared core of upperclassmen carrying the momentum from last year's 8-0 record, led the Crimson to first-place finishes in eight of the 13 events.
Harvard co-captain Malcolm Cooper, freshman Ron Raikula and Columbia's Lincoln D'jang set Blodgett Pool records in the 50-yd. freestyle, the 200-yd. backstroke and the 200-yd. individual medley, respectively.
The Crimson jumped to an early lead as the 400-yd. medley relay team of Ron Raikula, Tom Royal, Malcolm Cooper and Bobby Hackett glided to an easy win with a time of 3:32.
The lead was widened to 15-1 by Mike Coglin and Phil Atkinson, who finished first and third respectively in the 1000-yd. freestyle. Coglin touched at 9:42, with Atkinson trailing 23 seconds behind.
All-American superstar Bobby Hackett won the 200-yd. freestyle event in 1:39, while teammate Jack Gauthier came in third.
Malcolm Cooper, another all-American, broke his own 50-yd. freestyle pool record with a time of 21:10.
Columbia took the 200-yd. individual medley in style as Lion Lincoln D'jang established a pool record at 1:56, barely touching out Ron Raikula. Tim Maximoff, another Yardling, finished third.
In the one-meter diving, Harvard's Jamie Greacen and Steve Schramm received first-and third-place honors, respectively.
One event where the Lions showed some strength was the 200-yd. butterfly, as Columbia's Don Spencer nosed out Maximoff for first.
Jack Gauthier's 100-yd. freestyle victory set the stage for fellow freshman Raikula, whose superb 1:53 performance in the 200-yd. backstroke gave Harvard first place as well as a new pool record. The Crimson's Geoff Seelen grabbed second in the backstroke.
Coglin notched another first-place finish in the 500 free, while Columbia secured the number one spot in the 200 breast-stroke.
Schramm dove to a first-place victory in the three-meter event and teammate Greacen followed right behind for second place.
To put the icing on the cake, Tim Maximoff, Malcolm Cooper, Mike Coglin and Bobby Hackett joined up to cream Columbia in the 400-yd. freestyle relay with a time of 3:08.
"Our distance is probably unbeatable," Cooper said yesterday, adding, "We hope to win the league and the Easterns and compete in the Nationals."
The aquamen travel to Annapolis Friday to try to sink Navy.