Duneland Athletic Conference
Athletes to watch: Blake Pieroni, Sr., distance; Jack Wallar, Sr., breast; Aaron Whitaker, Sr., fly, sprints; Ethan Whitaker, Sr., distance; Patrick Curley, Sr., breast, distance.
Outlook: The defending state champions return all eight competitors from last year's meet plus talented freshmen Gary Kosbade and Wesley Slaughter. This is possibly the program's most-talented squad.
Athletes to watch: Andrew Kvachkoff, Sr., breast, IM sprints; AJ Huls, Jr., back, free; Sage Chiaro, Sr., diving; Sam Freeman, Sr., distance; Nick Morin, Sr., fly; Taylor Schooler, Sr., sprints; Greg Logothetis, So., all-around. Joey Karczewski, So., all-around; Ben Wellman, Sr., back; Andrew Gianfermi, So., distance.
Outlook: Coach Doug Norris said he loves years like this. He has 26 swimmers out and sophomores make up about half of that, so development will be key. The Bulldogs will be battling in the sectional with Munster and Lake Central.
Athletes to watch: Matt Applegate, Jr., IM, breast; Josh Barajas, Jr., IM, fly, distance; Connor Homans, Jr., sprints, back; Jamiere Wilson, Jr., sprints, fly, breast; Mike DeYoung, Sr., sprints; Alex Morgan, So., diving.
Outlook: With only two seniors on the team, the Indians have to depend on a good group of juniors, sophomores and freshmen to step up and fill the void. “We are a young team, but I believe as the season goes on we will have many of our swimmers step up and help us get to the next level,” new coach Jeff Kilinski said.
Outlook: The Slicers lost their only state qualiifer, two-time diving champion Josh Arndt, to graduation. This could be a rebuilding year.
Athletes to watch: Damian DiGangi, Sr., sprints; Aaron Fuller, Sr., free; Dwayne Fitzpatrick, Jr., diving; David Osorio, Sr., fly, 500 free.; Gregory Vega, Jr., breast, IM.
Outlook: Numbers are down slightly for the Pirates, with some athletes new to the sport. Coach Ladd Downham has a small group of upperclassmen and is relying on them to lead the way.
Outlook: Matt Quinlan, last year's lone state qualifier, graduated, so this might be a rebuilding year for the Wolves.
Athletes to watch: Brandon Crosby, Sr., diving; John Fannin, Sr., diving; Mikee Janes, Sr., free, fly; Patrick Sabkowski, Sr., diving.
Outlook: Fannin placed 17th at the state meet, while Crosby was a regional qualifier. Freshmen Ricky Del Real, Jason Taylor, Peyton Goetschel and Ethan Davenport will help strengthen the squad, helping the Indians overcome their graduation losses.
Athletes to watch: Andrew Antonetti, Sr., distance; Darian Low, So., sprints; Trevor Malhman, Sr., sprints; Alex Rastovski, Jr., back.
Outlook: Antonetti placed sixth in the 200 and eighth in the 500 free at last season's state meet. Michigan City transfer and sophomore Isaiah Parrish is a welcomed addition to the lineup.
Great Lakes Athletic Conference
Outlook: The Pioneers are in a rebuilding year after graduating a good portion of their team.
Outlook: The Gladiators will be in an uphill battle to challenge Morton in the GLAC after losing several swimmers to graduation.
Athlete to watch: Mike Kaminski, Sr., sprints, relays.
Outlook: The Wildcats don't have water in their pool right now, and are practicing at Gavit. Coach Sue Ann Mathewson has a lot of new swimmers out this season, with the simple goal of competing well in conference and dropping times.
Athletes to watch: Connor Davidson, Sr., sprints; Ben Daniels, Sr., distance; Mike Beatty, Sr., IM, breast.
Outlook: Coach Brian Rycerz said Davidson and Daniels both have a chance to make it downstate in their respective freestyle events, making this one of the best teams Morton has ever fielded. There are 18 boys out this season, with strong senior and freshman numbers.
Greater South Shore Conference
Outlook: The Warriors graduated Brayden Banske, Jake Miller and other strong swimmers. Filling their shoes will be difficult.
Athletes to watch: Tyler Webb, Jr., 50 free; Jose Arcinega, Jr., sprints.
Outlook: Webb blew out his knee during football season, so he will be limited to just the 50 free. Arcinega is a new swimmer, but could surprise some people. Coach AnnMarie Keene has five kids out, so this season is about gaining experience.
Athletes to watch: Jon Castle, Sr., free; Joe Hipp, Fr., free; AJ Willis, Sr., free; Jordan Peters, Jr., free; Alex Cowley, So., diving.
Outlook: North Newton has 15 kids on its roster, a huge improvement from nine last season, with many strong freestyle swimmers. Coach Audrey Combs-Long said she would like Castle to break the school's 50 free record.
Athlete to watch: Kane Klimczak, Jr., back.
Outlook: Klimczak remains a one-man team. He placed fourth in the 100 back at last year's sectional. A state meet berth could be in his future.
Athletes to watch: Brandon Bolde, Jr., distance; Jack Fekete, Jr., sprints; Sam Fekete, So., free, back; Nathan Graf, So., IM, breast.
Outlook: Coach Rob Gass only has five swimmers, but he still expects the team to break some school records and make noise at the GSSC meet and sectional.
Northwest Crossroads Conference
Outlook: Griffith lost Alex Rosales, who finished fourth in diving at state last season. A lot of other talent also graduated, so the Panthers must rebuild.
Athletes to watch: Jeff Schroeder, Sr., free; Chris Dabrowksi, Jr., distance; Matt Harnisch, Sr., sprints; Matt Byquist, Jr., all-around.
Outlook: Highland lost multiple-time state qualifier Steve Castillo to graduation last season, but the cupboard isn't bare. Dabrowski qualified for state in both 500 free and 400 free relay. “We're going to be underdogs for most of the year and show up when it counts,” coach Ryan Harrington said.
Athletes to watch: Braden O'Kelly, Sr., 50 free, breast; Jacob Olstead, Sr., back, 100 free; Justin Olstead; Sr., sprints; Alek Seeley, Sr., 50 free, 200 free; Connor Bennett, So., breast, 200 free.
Outlook: After having 16 swimmers out last season, the Brickies have 10 this year. Coach Jon Foddrill hopes to be over .500 in the NCC and get his kids to drop times throughout the campaign.
Athletes to watch: Kristian Cullings, Sr., sprints, relays; Joe Dinga, Sr., 50 free, fly; Brandon Martin, Jr., back, IM.
Outlook: The Kougars lost a lot of starters to graduation last season and are searching to fill holes in the lineup. Coach Dan Roberts has 20 kids out and looks to be competitive come sectional time.
Athletes to watch: Nolan Cook, Sr., distance; Nickolas Cooper-Garcia, Sr., breast; Tyler Morgan, Sr., IM, fly; Nicholas St. Martin, Sr., distance.
Outlook: Former coach Nick Schuyler, who coached from 2003-2007, takes over for the Red Devils again. He inherits a team that has improved in both the diving and freestyle events. “The guys have been working hard and are looking forward to obtaining personal best times and diving scores,” Schuyler said.
Athletes to watch: Logan Armagast, So., back, free; Wilson Beckman, Jr., back, free, fly; Jacob Comanse, Jr., diving; Joey Gardner, Jr., IM, back; Nick Lundin, So., sprints; Chris Rhodes, Sr.; fly, free, back; Matt Specht, Sr., breast, free; Collin Sroge, So., distance; Seth Weston, Jr., 200 IM, fly.
Outlook: It's not often where a team gets younger and becomes more balanced, but that's exactly what the Mustangs have done. Beckman and Gardner are two of the best swimmers on a team loaded with talent. Several freshmen will make a big impact this season.
Outlook: The Cardinals finished 14th at last season's Crown Point Sectional, and the team will aim to build numbers and talent this season.
Outlook: The Bombers placed fifth at last season's Crown Point Sectional and didn't lose much, so a stronger showing could be possible this time.