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Battle of the Boys in Blue

This year, as so often before, Michigan's top-ranking swimmers will have to beat Yale for the college title

For the past 20 years swimming in the U.S. has been a well-ordered world dominated by three college powers: Michigan, Yale and Ohio State. The two men who are doing the most to preserve the status quo for Michigan this year are Richard D. Hanley, the country's foremost freestyler, and his coach, Augustus (Gus) Stager, who is shown on the opposite page watching Hanley through an underwater window. Hanley is a swimmer worth watching for two reasons. He is the only U.S. collegian who has proved he can hang onto the fierce pace the Australian freestylers have been setting and, more important just now, he is the strongest hope of a remarkably strong Michigan team that defends its national collegiate title two weeks hence. With Ohio State relatively weak this year, the fight for the title will be between Michigan and, as often before, a challenging team from Yale.

Whether Michigan wins, as they should, or Yale squeezes through with an upset, this year's championships mark the end of an era. Neither Michigan nor Yale nor Ohio State is likely to lose power in the future, but other teams are catching up. Michigan State has been threatening to disrupt the well-ordered world of the Big Three for several years. This year swimmers of half a dozen colleges—notably the freestylers of Iowa, Wisconsin and Oklahoma—will be cutting heavily into the scoring. Next year, harvesting its finest crop of freshmen, the Indiana team will be aggravating, if not unbeatable. The revolt is under way, but it still has a way to go. While they will be hard-pressed, the excellent performers of Michigan and Yale shown on the following pages should, between them, win six or seven of the 12 individual swimming events at the championships.

Through underwater window, Coach Gus Stager watches Dick Hanley, whose potential in individual events or as relay anchor makes Michigan favorite for NCAA title.

Freestyler Roger Anderson, the latest of Yale's long line of powerful crawl swimmers, will challenge Michigan's front runner, Dick Hanley, for both the 220- and 440-yard titles.

Butterfly ace Tim Jecko of Yale, champion in the one stroke in which the U.S. is still supreme, will be hard-pressed in both the butterfly and medley races by improved rivals.

Breaststroker Cy Hopkins of Michigan, because of a new rule banning underwater swimming, must defend his 200-yard title with old but graceful surface stroke shown above.