The Times…They are a Droppin’

Well, we’ve already had a few exciting weeks of the 2019 NCAA Division III Conference Championship season, but even with one week remaining, there’s one thing that we know for sure – times continue to get faster, meaning that the 2019 selected times in many events will be significantly lower than they were a year ago.

Event
W ’18 Inv.
# Below
Current #20
M ’18 Inv.
#Below
Current #16
50 Free
23.66
27
23.55
20.43
13
20.47
100 Free
51.59
32
51.35
44.88
16
44.88
200 Free
1:52.20
31
1:51.27
1:39.29
14
1:39.48
500 Free
4:59.14
17
4:59.62
4:30.81
14
4:31.04
1650 Free
17:18.18
25
17:14.62
15:51.89
19
15:50.64
100 Back
56.49
17
56.60
49.49
17
49.44
200 Back
2:03.09
18
2:03.40
1:49.04
18
1:48.53
100 Breast
1:04.42
19
1:04.48
55.64
13
55.69
200 Breast
2:21.68
26
2:20.94
2:02.55
24
2:01.84
100 Fly
56.42
27
56.14
48.92
19
48.98
200 Fly
2:05.11
19
2:05.27
1:49.30
12
1:49.72
200 IM
2:06.27
25
2:05.91
1:50.66
13
1:50.70
400 IM
4:29.37
20
4:29.19
3:58.80
23
3:57.98
200 Free Relay
1:35.15
16
1:35.50
1:22.18
11
Only 12 B
400 Free Relay
3:29.41
20
3:29.40
3:02.64
9
Only 13 B
800 Free Relay
7:36.97
17
7:39.07
6:44.32
8
Only 10 B
200 Med. Relay
1:44.95
18
1:45.23
1:30.71
10
Only 13 B
400 Med. Relay
3:51.38
17
Only 17 B
3:20.28
11
Only 13 B

A major reason for the great difference between how much more the women’s times have already dropped than the men’s is the fact that the NESCAC women have already competed while the men compete this week. The SCIAC is another conference yet to compete who is expected to see a high number of competitors qualify, and pretty much every other conference competing this week generally has at least a few who make it to nationals, if not many. Factor in a few last chance meets (Kenyon, Chicago among others) that almost always produce a few improved times, and the general point is this – even if you were well below the Q18 mark, especially on the women’s side, you still might not be safe.

Conference Championship Central!

While the two primary weeks of the NCAA Division III swimming and diving conference championship season are three and four weeks away, the official start of postseason fun begins in less than two weeks when the CUNYAC holds their league meet in the Bronx. Below, we have listed all of the major end of year conference championships, both standard and swim conference (i.e., Metro/NEISDA), and, while many of the links are bare at this point, we will be updating them as they become available in the coming weeks. If you’re aware of any meets or teams that we are missing, please let us know.

WEEKS ZERO/ONE
WEEK TWO
WEEK THREE

WEEKS ZERO + ONE

CUNYAC (completed)
Friday, February 1 – Sunday, February 3 • Bronx, N.Y. • Lehman College
Teams: Baruch, Brooklyn, Hunter, John Jay, Lehman, Staten Island, York
Full Results: https://www.collegeswimming.com/results/118550/
Men’s Champ: Baruch
Women’s Champ: Baruch

College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Diving Championships (completed)
Saturday, February 9 • Bloomington, IL • Illinois Wesleyan
Teams: Augustana, Carroll, Carthage, Illinois Wesleyan, Millikin, North Central, Wheaton
Diving Results: https://static.cciw.org/custompages/CCIW_Links/Swimming/Results/2019/DivingResults19.htm

Great Northeast Athletic Conference (completed)
Friday, February 1 – Sunday, February 3 • Dartmouth, Mass. • Simmons
Teams: Colby-Sawyer, Elms, Gordon, Husson, Norwich, Regis, Simmons St. Joseph (CT), St. Joseph’s (ME)
Full Results: http://athletics.simmons.edu/sports/wswimdive/2018-19/files/2019_GNAC_CHAMPIONSHIP_RESULTS_THROUGH_DAY_THREE.htm
Men’s Champ: Norwich
Women’s Champ: Simmons

Little East Women’s Championships (completed)
Saturday, February 9 • Dartmouth, Mass. • UMass-Dartmouth
Teams: E. Connecticut, Keene State, Plymouth State, Rhode Island College, UMass-Dartmouth, W. Connecticut, Westfield State
Final Results: https://www.littleeast.com/sports/wswimdive/2018-19/files/Results_Little_East_Conference_2019_final.html
Champion: Keene State

Northwest Conference Conference (completed)
Thursday, February 7- Sunday, February 10 • Federal Way, Wash. • Puget Sound
Teams: George Fox, Lewis & Clark, Linfield, Pacific, Pacific Lutheran, Puget Sound, Whitman, Whitworth, Willamette
Results: http://results.teamunify.com/pnws2/
Men’s Champ: Whitworth
Women’s Champ: Whitman

Skyline Conference Championships (completed)
Friday, January 25- Saturday, January 26 • Purchase, NY • Purchase College
Teams: Maritime, Merchant Marine, Mount Saint Mary, Old Westbury, Purchase, Sarah Lawrence, St. Joseph’s-Brooklyn, St. Joseph’s-Long Island
Final Results: https://t.co/NGXu3MqvqI
Men’s Champ: Merchant Marine
Women’s Champ: Merchant Marine

SunCoast Swimming Conference Championships (completed)
Wednesday, February 6 – Saturday, February 9 • Orlando, FL • YMCA Aquatic Ctr. (Keiser)
Teams: LaGrange, Pfeiffer
Final Results: https://s3.amazonaws.com/sidearm.sites/keiser.sidearmsports.com/documents/2019/2/9/full_results.pdf
 

WEEK TWO

Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference
Wednesday, February 13 – Saturday, February 16 • Erie, Pa. • Penn State Behrend
Teams: Alfred State, Franciscan (W), Penn State Altoona, Penn State Behrend, Pitt-Bradford, SUNY-Dehli
Live Results: http://swim.bd.psu.edu/realtime/
Live Video/Meet Website (separate video links each session): http://psblions.com/sports/mswimdive/2018-19/AMCC_Championship

Atlantic East Conference
Friday, February 15 – Sunday, February 17 • Scranton, Pa. • Marywood University (Hosted by Cabrini)
Teams: Cabrini, Immaculata, Marymount
Meet Website: https://atlanticeast.com/tournaments/?id=7
Live Results: http://sidearmstats.com/atlanticeast/swimming/index.htm
Live Video: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFjvxfpVHF6dOE1ikY-5GeQ/featured

Capital Athletic Conference Championships
Thursday, February 14 – Sunday, February 17 • St. Mary’s City, Md. • St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Teams: Frostburg St., Mary Washington, Salisbury, St. Mary’s, York (PA)
Live Results: http://results.teamunify.com/mscbac/
Live Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/smcm/

College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Swimming Championships
Swimming: Thursday, February 14 – Saturday, February 16 • Pleasant Prairie, WI • Pleas. Prairie RecPlex
Teams: Augustana, Carroll, Carthage, Illinois Wesleyan, Millikin, North Central, Wheaton
Meet Website: https://cciw.org/sports/2019/1/21/MSWIM_0121194819.aspx
Live Results: http://upload.swimcloud.com/118547/
Live Video: 

Heartland Conference
Thursday, February 14 – Saturday, February 16 • Terre Haute, Ind. • Rose-Hulman
Teams: Anderson, Franklin, Manchester, Rose-Hulman, Transylvania
Meet Website: http://www.heartlandconf.org/sports/mswimdive/2018-19/championship
Live Results: http://collegeswimming.us/results/18557/

Landmark Conference
Friday, February 15- Sunday, February 17 • Germantown, Md.
Teams: Catholic, Drew, Elizabethtown, Goucher, Juniata, Marywood, Scranton, Susquehanna
Live Swimming Results: http://sidearmstats.com/marywood/swim/index.htm
Live Diving Results: https://secure.meetcontrol.com/divemeets/system/meetinfoext.php?meetnum=5843
Live Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/landmark/

Liberal Arts Championships
Wednesday, February 13 – Saturday, February 16 • Cedar Rapids, Iowa. • Coe College
Teams: Coe, Illinois Tech, Loras, Luther, Mills, Morningside, Nebraska Wesleyan, Principia, Simpson
Live Results: http://www.coeathletics.com/stats/sdlive/evtindex.htm
Live Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/coe/

Middle Atlantic Conference Championships
Thursday, February 14 – Sunday, February 17 • York, PA
Teams: Albright, Arcadia, FDU-Florham, Hood, King’s, Lebanon Valley, Lycoming, Messiah, Misericordia, Stevenson, Widener, Wilkes
Live Results: http://www.swimyorky.org/realtime/
Live Video: http://gomacsports.com/sports/2018/6/29/2019SwimChampionship.aspx

Midwest Conference Championships
Friday, February 15- Sunday, February 17 • Grinnell, Iowa • Grinnell College
Teams: Beloit, Grinnell, Illinois College, Knox, Lake Forest, Lawrence, Monmouth, Ripon
Live Results:
Live Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/grinnell/

Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Thursday, February 14 – Sunday, February 17 • Minneapolis, Minn. • U. of Minnesota
Teams: Augsburg (W), Carleton, Concordia (W), Gustavus Adolphus, Hamline, Macalester, Saint Benedict (W), Saint John’s (M), St. Catherine (W), Saint Mary’s, St. Olaf, St. Thomas
Live Results: https://static.stkatesathletics.com/custompages/MIACswim/index.htm
Live Video: https://www.miacathletics.com/playoffs/2018-19/SD19/webcast

NESCAC Women’s Championships
Thursday, February 14- Sunday, February 17 • . • Wesleyan College
Teams: Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut College, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity (CT), Tufts, Wesleyan, Williams
Live Results: http://www.collegeswimming.us/results/104693/
Live Video: https://www.nsnsports.net/conferences/nescac/

North Coast Athletic Conference
Wednesday, February 13 – Saturday, February 16 • Granville, Ohio • Denison University
Teams: Allegheny, Denison, DePauw, Hiram, Kenyon, Oberlin, Ohio Wesleyan, Wabash, Wittenberg, Wooster
Live Results: https://livestats.denison.edu/swimming/
Live Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/denison/

North East Athletic Conference
Friday, February 15- Sunday, February 17 • Cazenovia, N.Y. • Cazenovia College
Teams: Cazenovia, Cedar Crest, Gallaudet, SUNY-Cobleskill, Wells
Live Results:
Meet Website/Live Video: https://cazenoviawildcats.com/sports/2019/1/15/swimming-diving-championship-event-page.aspx

Ohio Athletic Conference
Thursday, February 14 – Saturday, February 16 • Akron, Ohio • U. of Akron (Wilmington)
Teams: Baldwin Wallace, John Carroll, Mount Union, Ohio Northern, Wilmington
Live Results: http://homepages.bw.edu/~stats/swim/oac/
Meet Website/Live Video (daily links): http://www.wilmingtonquakers.com/sports/mswim/OAC

Old Dominion Athletic Conference
Friday, February 15- Sunday, February 17 • Greensboro, N.C.
Teams: Bridgewater, Emory & Henry, Ferrum, Greensboro, Guilford, Hollins, Randolph, Randolph-Macon, Roanoke, Sweet Briar, Virginia Wesleyan, Washington and Lee
Meet Website: http://www.odaconline.com/tournament/swim/index
Live Results: http://www.greensboroaquaticcenter.com/race-results?race=2019ODAC
Live Video: http://www.odaconline.com/tournament/swim/2019championships/streaming-channel

Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championships
Wednesday, February 13 – Saturday, February 16 • Grove City, Pa. • Grove City College
Teams: Bethany, Chatham, Grove City, Saint Vincent, Washington + Jefferson, Westminster
Live Results: http://www2.gcc.edu/sports/livescore/swim/
Live Video: https://livestream.com/accounts/13431056/events/8544999

Southern Athletic Association Championships
Wednesday, February 13 – Saturday, February 16 • Birmingham, Ala. • CrossPlex Aquatic (Hendrix)
Teams: Berry, Birmingham-Southern, Centre, Hendrix, Rhodes, Sewanee
Live Results (bottom of page): https://hendrixwarriors.com/sports/2019/2/5/2019-saa-swimming-diving-championships.aspx
Live Video: http://watchthegamelive.com/saa-swimming-championships/

Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships
Wednesday, February 13 – Saturday, February 16 • San Antonio, Texas • Palo Alto College
Teams: Austin, Centenary, Colorado College, McMurry, Southwestern, Trinity (TX), U. of Ozarks
Live Results: http://results.chrissabato.com/centenary/swimming/evtindex.htm
Live Video: http://sportsgram.net/

University Athletic Association Championships
Wednesday, February 13 – Saturday, February 16 • Chicago, IL • UChicago
Teams: Brandeis, Carnegie Mellon, Case Western Reserve, Chicago, Emory, NYU, Rochester, Washington-St. Louis
Meet Website: https://athletics.uchicago.edu/sports/mswimdive/2018-19/uaa
Live Results: http://upload.swimcloud.com/118607/
Live Video: https://athletics.uchicago.edu/sports/mswimdive/live-video

Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships
Thursday, February 14 – Saturday, February 16 • Brown Deer, Wis. • Walter Schroeder Aquatic (UWEC)
Teams: UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Whitewater
Live Results: MeetMobile
Live Video:


WEEK THREE

Centennial Conference
Thursday, February 21 – Sunday, February 24 • Gettysburg, Pa. • Gettysburg College
Teams: Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, McDaniel, Swarthmore, Ursinus, Washington College
Live Results: http://public.gettysburg.edu/~sfumagal/index.htm
Live Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/gettysburg/

Empire 8 Championships
Wednesday, February 20 – Saturday, February 23 • Webster, N.Y.
Teams: Alfred, Hartwick, Nazareth, Stevens, Utica
Live Results: http://sidearmstats.com/alfred/swimming/index.htm
Live Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/nazareth/

Liberty League
Wednesday, February 20 – Saturday, February 23 • Ithaca, N.Y. • Ithaca College
Teams: Bard, Clarkson, Ithaca, RIT, RPI, Skidmore, St. Lawrence, Union, Vassar
Live Results: http://athletics.ithaca.edu/custompages/swimlive/
Live Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/ithaca/

Metropolitan Swimming Championships
Friday, February 22- Sunday, February 24 • Piscataway, N.J. • Rutgers University
Teams: Baruch, Hunter, Kean, Lehman, Montclair State, Mount Saint Mary, Merchant Marine, New Rochelle, Ramapo, Rowan, Stevens, SUNY-Maritime, Staten Island, Sarah Lawrence, TCNJ, William Paterson,
Meet Website: http://www.metsconference.com/
Live Results: http://www.metsconference.com/201X/2019/RTR/index.htm

Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Wednesday, February 20 – Saturday, February 23 • Holland, Mich. • Hope College
Teams: Albion, Alma, Calvin, Hope, Kalamazoo, Olivet
Live Results: http://results.teamunify.com/mimla/
Live Video (separate link for each night): https://www.miaa.org/sports/mswimdive/2018-19/releases/ChampCentral

NEISDA Swimming and Diving Championships
Thursday, February 21 – Sunday, February 24 • Cambridge, MA • MIT
Teams: Bridgewater St., Colby-Sawyer, E. Connecticut St., Elms, Gordon, Husson, Keene State, New England, Norwich, Plymouth State, Regis, Rhode Island College, Roger Williams, Saint Joseph, St. Joseph’s (ME), Simmons, UMass-Dartmouth, Westfield State, W. Connecticut St., W. New England
Live Results:
Live Video (separate link for each session): https://neisda.com/championship-info

NESCAC Men’s Championships
Thursday, February 21- Sunday, February 24 • Middlebury, VT • Middlebury College
Teams: Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut College, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity (CT), Tufts, Wesleyan, Williams
Live Results: http://upload.swimcloud.com/104719/
Live Video: https://www.nsnsports.net/conferences/nescac/

NEWMAC Championships
Thursday, February 21 – Sunday, February 24 • Worcester, MA. • WPI
Teams: Babson, Clark, Coast Guard, MIT, Mount Holyoke, Springfield, Smith, Wellesley, Wheaton (MA), WPI
Live Results: https://athletics.wpi.edu/links/5kmhik
Live Video: https://athletics.wpi.edu/sports/swimdive/live

Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Diving: Saturday, February 16 – Sunday, February 17
Swimming: Thursday, February 21 – Sunday, February 24 • Commerce, Calif.
Teams: Caltech, Cal Lutheran, Chapman, C-M-S, La Verne, Occidental, Pomona-Pitzer, Redlands, Whittier
Live Results: https://www.thesciac.org/championships/2018-19/Swimming_-_Diving/2019_Swimming_-_Diving_Championships
Live Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/sciac/index.htm

SUNYAC Championships
Wednesday, February 20 – Saturday, February 23 • Buffalo, N.Y. • Erie Community College
Teams: Buffalo State, Fredonia, SUNY-Brockport, SUNY-Cortland, SUNY-Geneseo, SUNY-New Paltz, SUNY-Oneonta, SUNY-Oswego, SUNY-Potsdam
Live Results: http://www.peakaquatics.com/liveresults/2019/02/sunyac/index.htm
Live Video: http://portal.stretchinternet.com/sunyac/

PREVIEW: Southern Athletic Association

The exciting news in the SAA over the summer was that Millsaps is adding swimming, but that’s not coming until 2019-20, so, for one more year, the SAA remains a six-team league. Birmingham-Southern swept the league titles a year ago and should repeat once again this year, but the races behind the Panthers are going to be mighty tight once again.

Here are our projected standings with previews:

SAA WOMEN:

  1. Birmingham-Southern – BSC’s reign at the top of the SAA won’t stop this year, as the Panthers both return more and brought in more than any other team in the league. At the top, three-time First Team All-American and reigning SAA Swimmer of the Year Becca Erwin (60 pts., 4 A-Relays, 100/500/1BR champ) returns, as do Kasey Godwin (46, 2A, 1 B-Relay), Kayla Canon (44, 1A/1B), Chelsea Chamblee (38, 4A), and Jenna Luth (38, 1B). The Panthers also have a very strong recruiting class, led by Rachael Brooks (1:59.49/5:09.8/17:31, 58.0/2:03.8 BA, 2:16/4:51 IM), Anna Jordan Luth (55.44/1:59.8 FR, 1:06.2/2:22.5 BR, 1:02.1 FL, 2:08.8/4:36 IM), and Mary Katherine Stewart (25.0/53.9/1:54.7/5:10.4, 58.1/2:04.4 BA, 1:09.4 BR, 1:00.8 FL, 2:10/4:38 IM). Annalane Lee (25.09/54.9/1:58.7/5:18, 1:01.6/2:10.4 BA, 2:19.6 IM), Jordyn Miller (5:18.9 FR, 2:13.8 BA, 59.85/2:13 FL, 2:15.6/4:42 IM), and Katherine Pepe (25.46, 2:19.5 BA, 1:08.5/2:32 BR, 1:00.4/2:18.2 FL, 2:17.6/4:53 IM) all add great depth, too, which will offset the loss of four losses – graduates Katie Kassis (35, 1A/2B) and Sarah Catherine Murphy (26, 1B) and underclassmen Savannah Barber (48, 4A) and Rachel Sullivan 26, 1A/3B).
  2. Rhodes – Rhodes should remain comfortably in second once again this year, and the returns of NCAA-qualifiers Allie Hill (57, 2A/2B, 1BA/2BA champ) and Madi Griffin (56, 4A, 50/200 champ) will help to assure that. NCAA-Qualifier Virginia Carr (51, 4A, 2BR champ) is a big loss, as is that of Emily Wozena (40, 1A/3B), but Grace Tolan (43, 1B) and Carly Good (41, 1A/3B, 4IM champ) are also back as 40-point scorers. Lilli Metts (25.01/53.75/1:56.1/5:05, 59.7/2:08 BA, 1:00.3/2:18.8 FL, 2:16/4:37 IM) is the best of a solid recruiting class, and Julia Cronk (2:02.6/5:28 FR, 1:10.5 BR, 59.9/2:14.6 FL, 2:11.4/4:46.7 IM), Erin Osborne (55.2/1:57.5/5:11.8/18:21, 1:02.2/2:12.1 BA, 1:02.8 FL, 2:12.3/4:51.7 IM), and Brittany Pierce (25.3/54.5/1:59.1, 1:01.7/2:13.5 BA, 2:16.0 IM) all could score significant points at SAAs.
  3. Centre – Centre returns its top four scorers and much of their relay power in Annie Holmes (50, 4A, 1FL champ), Amelia Blankenbeker (49, 2A/2B, 2FL champ), Chloe Grove (46, 3A), and Sarah Phillips (44, 4A), but the losses of SAA Diver of the Year and six-time All-American (40) and Cameron Beach (42, 4A) are significant. While Centre’s recruiting class lacks top-end firepower, it’s one of the deepest in the league, as Emma Adkins (24.43/54.3/1:59.2/5:22, 1:04.2/2:23.7 FL), Connor Foster (19:10.9, 1:01/2:13.7 BA, 1:01.2/2:23.4 FL, 2:20.9/4:56 IM), Maddie Hall (18:57, 1:08.5/2:27.4 BR, 1:03.3/2:19.4 FL, 2:21.3/4:53 IM), Savannah Kingery (25.33/56.3/1:57.9/5:16, 1:03.7/2:18.6 BA), and Peyton Patel (24.93/55.04, 1:02.3/2:15.8 BA, 1:11.7 BR) all can score significant points.
  4. Berry – Berry lost more points from the 2018 SAA Championships than any team in the league, highlighted by the graduation of Haley Brown (51, 4A) among the nine losses from their scoring roster. However, the Vikings do return four of their top five scorers in Josie Hadaway (54, 4A, 2IM champ), SAA Newcomer of the Year Brooke Boyd (52, 4A, 1650 champ), Sarah Pierce (34, 3A/1B), and Sydney Ragsdale (33, 1A/1B). Lilyanna Jenkins (1:09.1/2:27.5 BR, 1:02.1 FL, 2:13.6/4:46 IM) and Emma O’Heron (1:59.8/5:14.6/17:55, 1:03.4/2:09.8 BA) are the best of the Vikings’ seven newcomers, while Andie Hadaway (19:14, 1:02.4/2:20.2 FL, 2:19.9/4:59.5 IM) and Cambell Liska (56.05/2:00.5/5:17.4/19:05, 2:14.5/4:52 IM) should help, too.
  5. Sewanee – Sewanee doesn’t return much in terms of swimming points, as they lost their top two scorers in Megan Mulhern (37, 3A) and Olivia Baker (33, 4A) along with six other scorers, but the Tigers do return the league’s two best returning divers in Paisley Simmons (33) and Noel Whitlock (33). Sewanee does bring in two of the top freshmen in the league in Gabby Acker (25.21, 59.74/2:08.11 BA, 1:03.99/2:22.69 BR, 1:04 FL, 2:13.3 IM) and Kate Mabry (24.47/54.47/1:59.3, 57.58/2:08.13 BA), both of whom could immediately win conference titles.
  6. Hendrix – Hendrix should narrow the gap to Sewanee this year, but depth will still keep the Warriors at the bottom for now. Haley Whitson (21, 1A/2B) and Journey Eubank (17, 2A/1B) are back and provide senior leadership, but no other swimmer reached double-figures in individual scoring at SAAs in 2018. There are two very strong freshmen among the team’s eight newcomers, as Trinity Dohoney (55.77/2:00.3/5:19, 1:00.3/2:14.4, 59.09 FL) and Alexis Ozden (24.7/55.3 FR, 59.4 BA, 1:07.3/2:27.4 BR, 2:08.6/4:37 IM) should both be able to score major points and likely will be the team’s top two scorers.

SAA MEN:

  1. Birmingham-Southern – Despite losing more than any team in the league, BSC’s lock on the top spot is by no means in jeopardy in 18-19. Yes, the Panthers lost relay Honorable Mention All-American (800FR) Wil Barton (48, 1A/3B), Caleb Riggs (48, 2A/1B), Luke Huffstutler (47.5, 2A/2B), and Brady Coleman (45, 2B) to graduation, but BSC returns SAA Swimmer of the Year and two-time HM All-American (800FR, 500) Nico Medina (60, 1A/2B, 200/500/1650 champ), SAA Newcomer of the Year and HM All-American (800FR) Patrick Dunne (57, 4A, 4IM/2BA champ), and Noah Young (57, 4A, 2IM/1BA champ). The Panthers also return five other 40-point scorers, including HMAA (800FR) Ryan Emili (47, 4A). Freshman diver James Hughes should be the best in the league, and RJ Clark also should be one of the league’s better divers, while Hayden Henderson (57.85 BA, 58.39/2:09.4 BR, 52.1 FL, 1:57.7 IM), Chase Mays (49.4/1:46.3/4:56/17:25, 53.75/1:58.6 FL, 2:03.9/4:17 IM), and Joshua Wong (1:02.8 BA, 58.56/2:13.85 BR, 2:02.6/4:41 IM) lead the incoming swimmers.
  2. Centre – Centre faces major losses from 17-18, as five of their top eight scorers are not on this year’s roster, including Noah Martin (57, 4A, 50/1FL champ), Bradley Baker (45, 1A/3B), Mitchell Collins (44, 4A), and SAA Diver of the Year Brad Nordin (40). Arthur Ensign-George (44, 3A/1B), Jimmy Kelley (43, 3A/1B), and Grey Pendery (33, 2B) are the team’s top returners, and the Colonels’ recruiting class should be strong enough to keep them narrowly ahead of Rhodes in second. Garrison Herfel (20.95/46.39/1:42.08, 54.48 BA, 51.84 FL, 2:06.7 IM) is arguably the league’s top freshman, and Sean Gilpatrick (56.77/2:01.3 BA, 1:01.6/2:12.2 BR, 54.3/2:03.5 FL, 1:58.3/4:23.1 IM), Zee Oddo (21.71/48.29, 58.44/2:11.84 BA, 1:01.14/2:18.2 BR), and Max Shoyat (1:47.8/5:00.3 FR, 52.81/1:55.5 BA, 54.48/2:06.41 FL, 1:55.9/4:12.8 IM) all should score big points.
  3. Rhodes – Rhodes returns five of its top six scorers, led by Hayden Hill (54, 4A, 2FL champ), one of the league’s top freshmen a year ago, and Christian Stankovic (41, 4A). Lucas Bradford (31, 2A/2B) and Tanner Martinez (29, 3B) are also back, and the Lynx have a strong core of four among their 12-man freshman class in Roland Chang (1:45.6/4:44/16:45, 1:02.5/2:16.1 BR, 2:04.4 FL, 2:00/4:17 IM), Zac Gammons (21.34/47.93/1:49.7, 52.4/1:59.9 BA, 53.57 FL), Richard Gentry (55.63/2:05.4 BA, 58.94/2:12.5 BR, 2:01.6 IM), and Evan Ziolkowski (21.83/46.91/1:42.8/4:45, 56.9 BA, 53.4 FL, 2:04.8 IM). The Lynx should give Centre a better challenge for second than they did a year ago, and should create a few more points of distance from Berry in fourth.
  4. Berry – Berry returns its top three scorers in sophomores Dylan White (47, 4A) and Michael Bemis (42, 4A, 100 champ) and junior Jackson Parker (29, 3A/1B), and newcomers Bo Dyar (21.93/47.79/1:45.3, 51.67/1:53.1 BA, 1:57.65/4:42 IM) and Bryant transfer Cyrus Nabavi (22.08/48.8/1:48.1, 51.51/1:53.4 BA, 51.0/1:54.4 FL, 1:57.7/4:11 IM) should both make major impacts to the team. The Vikings also add one diver in Sage Costen.
  5. Sewanee – Lee Haber (47, 4A, 2BR champ) and Carl Failing (45, 4A) are both back after impressive freshman seasons, and diver Jed Henrichsen (33) and James Hoyt (30, 2A/2B) also return, but there’s not much beyond that, as the remaining five returners combined for just 20 points last year at SAAs. Anthony Carbone (21.64/47.22/1:45.54, 1:00.2 BA, 58.6/2:06.6 BR, 2:06.8 FL, 1:57.4/4:21.9 IM) is a big pickup for the Tigers and could challenge Haber for the 200 Breast title, while Thomas Young (1:46.9/4:52/17:12, 59.5/2:01.7 BA, 54.0/1:58.7 FL, 4:22.8 IM) should also score big points.
  6. Hendrix – The good news is that Hendrix returns junior Sam Melhorn (48, 4A, 1BR champ), the only swimmer to score more than 20 points a year ago. Therein also lies the bad news, as the rest of the returning Warriors combined to score just 52 points at the 2018 SAA meet. Lyle Alford (16, 5A), Max Parker (14, 1A/2B), and David Jiang (10, 1A/3B) are the other top returners, and the addition of Paxton Higgerson (22.5/47.9/1:49.2, 1:00.3 BA, 1:02.6/2:14.9 BR, 52.98/2:01.2 FL, 1:57.6/4:12.5 IM) is a big one. Higgerson could immediately be the Warriors’ number-two scorer behind Melhorn.

Projected Award Winners:

  • Women’s Swimmer of the Year: Becca Erwin, Birmingham-Southern
  • Women’s Diver of the Year: Paisley Simmons, Sewanee
  • Women’s Newcomer of the Year: Anna Jordan Luth, Birmingham-Southern
  • Men’s Swimmer of the Year: Nico Medina, Birmingham-Southern
  • Men’s Diver of the Year: James Hughes, Birmingham-Southern
  • Men’s Newcomer of the Year: Garrison Herfel, Centre

PREVIEW: Old Dominion Athletic Conference

It should be an interesting season once again in the ODAC, though the great interest won’t be at the top of the ranks where we expect Washington & Lee to roll to both titles once again. The race for second, however, between Randolph-Macon and up-and-coming Roanoke, should be very interesting on both sides, and the order of the teams in the bottom half of both races could come down to who has the better relay finishes.

Here are our projected standings with previews:

ODAC WOMEN:

  1. Washington & Lee – The Generals dominated the ODAC in 2017-18, and that’s not going to change in the slightest in 2018-19. Eleven of the top 12 individual scorers at the ODAC Championships were from WLU, and all 18 Generals scored 37 points or more at the league meet. Only two of those 18 scorers graduated in Cassidy Fuller (47 pts., 2 relays, 3 HMAA relays) and Mara Tynan (40). Returning among the Generals’ abundance of riches is 2018 ODAC Swimmer of the Meet Emily Hageboeck (60, 2r, 2IM/1BR/2BR champ), a First Team All-American in the 200 Breast (7th) and Honorable Mention in the 100 Breast and 200 Medley Relay. Ali MacQueen (54, 4r, 1FL champ) was the lone other WLU swimmer to garner individual All-America honors with an HM honor in the 100 Fly (also earned HMAA on three relays), while Elle Chancey (60, 4r, 50/100/200 champ, 4 HMAA), Kelly Amar (54, 1r, 2FL champ, 2 HMAA), Ashley Johnston (49, 2r, 1 HMAA), Caroline Florence (41, 1r, 1HMAA), and Tori Hester (37, 1r, 1 HMAA) all also earned HM All-America honors on General relays. Along with All those All-Americans, WLU also returns Taylor Ecleberry (52, 1r, 4IM champ) and ODAC Rookie of the Meet Mattie Grant (51, 500/1650 champ) and gets 2017 ODAC 2FL champ Laura Bruce back after missing 17-18. All seven newcomers could score 40+ points right away but will be fighting each other and teammates for scoring roster spots. Caroline Baber (23.94/52.59/1:53.47, 1:00.87/2:12.8 BA, 1:04.3/2:21.4 BR, 57.69 FL, 2:04.6/4:25.8 IM) is the best of the crop on paper and could win multiple conference titles, while Claudia Barnett (24.24/52.19/1:58/5:38, 1:08/2:27.9 BR, 1:00.4 FL, 2:12.6/4:53 IM), Turner Bobbitt (24.8/53.1/1:56.7/5:18.2, 57.67/2:07.1 BA, 57.99/2:14.9 FL, 2:10.9/4:41.5 IM), Elle Boyd (25.17/52.67/1:57.2, 58.29 BA, 59.67 FL), Erika Ehret (25.84/54.42/1:59.1/5:24.9, 1:09.9/2:31.4 BR, 1:00.2/2:10.5 FL, 2:12.5/4:39 IM), and Anna Jamieson (24.62/53.68/1:59.57, 58.1/2:05.8 BA, 1:00 FL, 2:11.7 IM) all add unmatched depth.
  2. Randolph-Macon – The distance behind Washington & Lee is vast. We’re keeping Randolph-Macon in the #2-slot once again this year but expect the Yellow Jackets to be challenged by the team immediately below them on this list. RMC does return 10 of its top 11 scorers from the 2018 ODACs. Natalia Perdomo (45, 2r) leads the way after a great freshman season while senior Kata Kyllainen (42, 4r), Kacey Pool (42, 3r), Haylie Moore (35, 1r), and Laney Sanchez (35) are also among the team’s top returners. The Yellow Jackets’ recruiting class is deep but doesn’t have any top-end talent on paper. Look for Becca Lazerson (26.19/57.27/2:04.38, 1:08.8/2:33.6 BR, 1:07.19 FL, 2:17.1 IM), Emma Kate Russell (26.16/57.8, 1:08.34 BA, 1:01.5/2:26 FL), and Jordan Shearer (26.49/57.19/2:04.4, 1:05.2/2:26.6 BA, 1:00.9 FL, 2:17 IM) to make the most immediate impacts.
  3. Roanoke – Coach Scott Thacker has this second-year program continuing in the right direction, as the Maroons have the league’s deepest crop of freshman coming alongside a strong group of returners – something that the Maroons couldn’t say a year ago during their inaugural season. ODAC 100 Back champ Reilly Bird (50, 4r) leads the way after an outstanding freshman season while Francisca Cifuentes (26, 4r), Hannah Sells (25, 3r), Sarah Virginia Scott (24, 3r), and Margaret Riggan (9, 1r) all return after gaining invaluable experience a year ago. Maria Vinson (55.9/1:57/5:09.2/17:45, 1;04/2:11.8 BA, 1:02/2:13.8 FL, 2:10.5/4:34.5 IM) is the cream of a 13-woman crop of freshmen, while Izzy Mack (58.48/2:02.2/5:16/18:11, 1:03.5/2:14.8 BA, 2:17.8/4:49 IM) and Hannah Petty (25.08/53.9/1:56.3/5:11.6, 1:01.4/2:14 BA, 1:12/2:36 BR, 59.66 FL, 2:13.5/4:44 IM) give RC a top-tier trio of newcomers. Hadley Baker (27.4/58.5/2:06.1, 1:02.8/2:13.8 BA), Grace Fountain (26.35/56.25/2:00.4/5:23, 1:05.9/2:17.4 BA), and Caylyn McNaul (26.17/57.04/2:08.3, 1:09.9/2:31.8 BR) are a great second-tier among the freshman class, while several others are already capable of scoring, as well. The difference between RMC and RC could be close enough to come down to which team scores more points in relays.
  4. Bridgewater – The dropoff from the top three to Bridgewater in fourth might be close to as big as the margin from first to second, but the Eagles should find themselves as the team solidly in fourth place. They return their top four scorers in Kelley Hilliker (43, 4r), Emma Daw (39, 4r), Rachael King (31, 2r), and Genevieve Young. Among their seven newcomers, Zoe Moore (25.85/56.80/2:02.3/5:15.5/18:19, 1:07.98/2:25 BR, 2:16.8/4:49 IM) is top flight, and Jessica Touve (57.65/2:06.1, 1:10.3 BA, 2:45.8 BR, 1:04.3/2:24.7 FL, 5:04.5 IM) should be able to score significant points, too.
  5. Emory & Henry – Emory & Henry lost more than any team in the ODAC but still should have just enough to hold onto fifth. Four of the Wasps top five scorers graduated in Bri Chessock (43, 4r), Holly Roth (35, 2r), Mackenzie Lingle (30, 4r), and Kelsey Jones (22, 2r). Olivia Anson (42, 4r) and Savannah Scarbrough (20, 1r) are the team’s only returning scorers as their other two returners didn’t compete at ODACs a year ago. All three recruits should be able to contribute, with Anne-Louise Tunstall (26.91/56.7/2:04/5:29, 1:12.1/2:34 BR, 1:03.4 FL, 2:17.8 IM) the best of the three.
  6. Hollins – Hollins remains in sixth in our rankings primarily based on the returns of Hanna DeVarona (22, 4r), who is coming off a strong freshman season, and senior Maya Schattgen (17, 4r). Having Emily Miehlke (3, 4r) and Molly Sullivan (2) back also give the Green and Gold bigger relay potential than many of the teams below them, in spite of the fact that their three newcomers are unproven thus far.
  7. Sweet Briar – The Vixens return three of their top four scorers, including Sarah Ahson (18, 4r) – the top of just three double-digit returners in the bottom half of our rankings. Theresa Carriveau, Lauren Graham, and Dharma Kear also return for Sweet Briar, and all four of those ladies will look to build off experience gained as freshmen. None of the team’s six recruits are proven, but Bailey Jones (27.55 50) should make the biggest impact on relays.
  8. Virginia Wesleyan – VWU didn’t score a single individual point a year ago, but they do return 16 of their 20 relay swims. Four of their five relays finished ninth a year ago, so the Marlins will be the biggest benefactor of Greensboro’s inability to compose relays (see more below). Sarah Conley (25.92/58.66) is a big addition for VWU, as she has individual scoring ability and will also improve the team’s relays.
  9. Randolph – Randolph also didn’t score a single individual point at the 2018 ODAC meet and returns only two swimmers in Golden Dennison (4r) and Leah Dorman. Brice Creel (25.51/56.25/2:03.3, 1:05.2 FL, 2:20.5/5:34 IM) will be a huge boost for the Wildcats, but they will need some of their other freshmen to develop to have a chance of rising higher and to assure that they hold off the teams below.
  10. Ferrum – Ferrum has just two returners in Katie Shoaf (11, 4r) and Courtney Moyer (1, 4r), so the Panthers will be heavily reliant upon freshmen this season. Hunter Tharpe (1:09.5 FL) is the best of the five newcomers on paper, but the ability of the rest of those newcomers to develop will tell the story for Ferrum.
  11. Guilford – Carolyn O’Halloran (13, 2r) is back, and Courtney Packer (0, 1r) also returns, but the real reason that we have the Quakers above Greensboro is roster size. With six newcomers, they have the ability to compose relays, and any relays score more points than no relays. The team’s six newcomers are raw at this point.
  12. Greensboro – As we write this, Greensboro has just three swimmers on their roster, which, as you know, means no relays. Lauren Spencer (18 pts., 4r) is back after a solid freshman season, but neither other returner scored and Spencer can’t possibly outscore even four relays. If the Pride could perhaps pickup a mid-season addition from among their student body, they could move up one or even two spots.

ODAC MEN:

  1. Washington & Lee – Unlike in the women’s race, the Washington & Lee men should face a little more pressure than they did in their nearly 400-point victory at last year’s ODAC Championships, but their margin should still be fairly comfortable – somewhere in the 150-200 point range. At the top, they lose two-time ODAC Swimmer of the Meet and 15-time All-American Tommy Thetford (57, 3r), who as a First Team AA in the 50 and HMAA in the 100 and three relays in 2018. Relay HM All-Americans Corey Connelly (48, 4r) and Evan Kramer (41, 2r) are also gone, as are Ethan Fischer (49, 2r, 1BR/2BR champ), Thomas Caldwell (48, 1r), Noah Schammel (45, 2r, 1FL champ), and Wade Patterson (43). That said, the Generals do return a pair of individual conference champs in Jared Nickodem (55, 200/400 IM champ) and 2018 ODAC Rookie of the Meet Patrick Sullivan (54, 3r, 200 champ), an individual HMAA in the 200 free and 3x HMAA on General relays. Danny Lynch (50, 1r) and Fritz Rawls (48) will also look to build off tremendous freshman seasons, and Ben Brown (48), Brian Legarth (45, 1r), Patrick Lawrence (44), Sam Childress (42), and Jonathan Tucker (34) all earned top-three finishes at the league meet a year ago. The Generals have several swimmers among their returners who didn’t make last year’s conference roster who are capable of filling some of their losses, which is key with a smaller freshman class this year. Jack Donahue (49.27/1:45.68, 1:00.6/2:11.3 BR, 52.86/1:55.76 FL, 1:56.8/4:08.2 IM), Jackson Mathis (21.52/48.07, 53.77 FL), and Steve Warren (50.59 100, 56.73/2:03.77 BR, 2:05.61 IM) are the most ready of the five newcomers to make major impacts.
  2. Randolph-Macon – Also much like in the women’s race, we currently have Randolph-Macon second but wouldn’t be surprised to see Roanoke behind them give them a serious challenge for second. While they lost three key scorers in Ivan Fadeyev (51), Ealon Mann (41, 4r), and Alex Daube (30, 3r), the Yellow Jackets do return a pair of ODAC champs in Victor Kontopanos (54, 4r, 2FL champ) and Jordan Witherow (54, 2r, 500/1650 champ). RMC also has a very strong recruiting class, highlighted by potential conference champs Wyatt Boyer (22.43/47.52/1:42.1/4:38/16:27, 59.79/2:08 BR, 1:55.2/4:05.9 IM) and Joe Stephens (22.39/49.5/1:50.7/5:08.9, 52.36/1:55.3 BA, 1:04 BR, 2:01.8/4:30.9 IM). Justin Gregory (1:51.4/5:00.6/17:26, 57.5/2:05 BA, 2:07 FL, 2:08.6/4:31 IM), Shane Morison (22.48/48.74/1:46.3/4:58.8/17:47, 1:01.4/2:14 BR, 53.69 FL, 2:00.5/4:24 IM), and Matthew Parisi (1:51.3/5:04/17:15, 2:01.6 BA, 1:06.4 BR, 2:04.7/4:18.8 IM) all should be able to score major points, too.
  3. Roanoke – The Roanoke men also continue their rapid ascension up the ODAC ranks in their second year as a program, and the Maroons strength is more in their depth than their top-end talent. Top-three scorers Nick McGrath (33, 4r), Jacob David (31, 2r), and Ethan Gordon (31, 4r) all return, and all 12 freshmen are capable of scoring, with as many as nine having the potential to score 30+ points. Connor Kinkema (49.55/1:49.6/5:00.6, 58.6/2:15.5 BA, 59.7/2:06.3 BR, 2:00.3/4:23 IM), Sutton Schonfelder (1:01/2:13 BR, 53.8/1:57.6 FL, 2:00.4/4:23.4 IM), Ben Tate (48.6/1:46.2/4:48, 56.7/2:09.4 BA, 53.1/1:56.4 FL, 2:00.2/4:16.6 IM), and Jack Vaughn (1:51.2/4:56.5, 1:00.8/2:14.3 BR, 55.7/2:02.7 FL, 2:02.3/4:22.9 IM) have the slight edge on paper of such an incredibly deep crew while Parker Devillier (21.83/47.77) may have the biggest relay-impact potential.
  4. Hampden-Sydney – Hampden-Sydney’s slip to fourth says more about Roanoke than it does about HSC, as the Tigers might actually be a stronger program than they were a year ago. They return their top five of their top six scorers in Hudson Elmore (36, 2r), Zach Stephan (34, 4r), Jack Dickerson (29, 2r), AJ Howard (27, 4r), and Anthony Vinson (23, 2r). Woody Parsons (22.56/48.79/1:43.85/4:42.9/16:58, 52.11/1:55.5 FL, 2:01.3/4:30 IM) is a huge pickup, and Jason Covaney (49.57/1:52.3, 59.45 BA, 55.43 FL, 2:08.4 IM) should help immediately, too.
  5. Randolph – Randolph should improve enough this year to create a significant gap between the two halves of the ODAC this year, and they are trending in the right direction, as all four returning scorers were just freshmen a year ago. Oscar Onoszko (27, 4r), Jeffrey Oliveri (22, 4r), Daniel Bennett-Blake (16, 2r), an Andrew Scales (16, 4r) are all back, and their two best swimmers might be a pair of freshmen in Chris Verastek (21.74/46.93/1:47, 53.8/2:01.3 BA, 56.24/2:06 BR, 52.62 FL, 1:53.46/4:15 IM) and Mike Christou (21.65/48.79, 53.16/2:15.7 BA, 1:00.8 BR, 53.44 FL). The addition of those two should also allow the Wildcats to compose a strong fifth relay, something they couldn’t do last year, which will only increase that gap between them and the teams below.
  6. Emory & Henry – E&H loses its lone point scorer from last year’s ODACs in Wilson Naff (40), but they do bring in seven freshmen, all of whom are at least on the fringe of being able to score points, which should give the Wasps a leg up on the teams below them in terms of relays – and relays are really where the difference exists between these bottom five teams. Blake Madaris (1:55.3/5:09, 58.7/2:03.68 BA, 2:12.6 FL, 2:13 IM) is the clear best of the crop, while Braxton Justice (22.53/53.68) and Mack Henningsen (52.68/1:53.45/5:16.27) should impact relays.
  7. Bridgewater – Bridgewater returns a pair of scorers in Tito Alcazar (15, 4r) and Jarratt Davis (4, 4r), and the addition of Austin Bacon (1:53/5:05 FR, 1:00.5/2:10.7 BA, 2:30 BR, 56.1/2:04.5 FL, 2:05/4:35.8 IM) and Kevin Whalen (22.33/50.12, 1:02.44 BA, 57.55 FL) give the Eagles a strong core.
  8. Ferrum – Taylor Darnell (32, 4r) is the big difference that keeps Ferrum above VWU on this list, while the return of Jacob Blaukovitch (9, 4r) also helps. The addition of one freshman means that Ferrum can compose five relays if it chooses.
  9. Virginia Wesleyan – VWU returns just four individual points from a year ago from Patrick McKneely (2, 2r), Matthew Bavuso (1, 2r), and Kyle Woolf (1, 4r). Tyler Strong (57.05 BA, 2:11.4 IM) is the biggest addition among the five freshmen, but, if others can drop some time, they could challenge the teams ahead of them.
  10. Greensboro – The Greensboro men are in the same unfortunate place that their women are in that they only have three swimmers on their roster, meaning they can’t copose relays at this point. Anis Yahi (37, 4r) and Matt Rogers (16, 4r) are two of the top returners on the bottom half of these rankings, and freshman Ethan Wilson (1:02.30 BA) is a fringe scorer, but without a fourth swimmer, they have no hope of climbing out of this spot. That said, if they could find a fourth, these other three are decent enough to jump them several spots on this list.

Projected Award Winners:

  • Women’s Swimmer of the Year: Emily Hageboeck, Washington & Lee
  • Women’s Newcomer of the Year: Caroline Baber, Washington & Lee
  • Men’s Swimmer of the Year: Patrick Sullivan, Washington & Lee
  • Men’s Newcomer of the Year: Wyatt Boyer, Randolph-Macon

PREVIEW: Ohio Athletic Conference

There were two incredibly close races in the OAC in 2017-18, as the John Carroll men edged Ohio Northern for the league title by a mere three points – one of the closest title races in conference history – and the Baldwin Wallace women edged Ohio Northern for third by a single point, well behind John Carroll’s dominant title run. We expect JCU to sweep the titles once again this year and fairly comfortably, but the race for second on the women’s side should be very tight between three teams.

Here are our projected standings with previews:

OAC WOMEN:

  1. John Carroll – JCU lost a lot, but, fortunately, their biggest threat from a year ago in Mount Union lost even more, which should keep the Blue Streaks comfortably in the top spot once again this year. Gwyn Ledrick (57 pts., 4 relays) is back after a monster freshman year that saw her sweep the breaststroke events and earn HM All-America honors in the 200 Breast, and Olivia Talamo (48, 3r, 100 champ), Hope Scherger (46, 1r), and Victoria Vale (42, 2r) will also look to build off of great rookie campaigns. Add in three more 40-point scorers  in Shelbi Shearer (42.5, 4r), Maddie Dolce (41, 2r), and Chloe Ruggiero (41), and the losses of Carly Adams (56, 2r, 4IM/1BA champ), OAC Diver of the Year Ashley Creasap (40), and six other scorers, as big as they are, become a little easier to swallow. It is a smaller recruiting class for the Blue Streaks this year with only five newcomers, but Katelin Laure Avenir (56.15/2:03.8 FR, 1:02.5/2:15.7 BA, 1:10.9/2:34 BR, 1:02.7/2:36.4 FL, 2:15.5/4:48 IM) and Kyleah Gaydos (24.85/54.89/2;04.7/5:29.8, 1:04.3/2:23.4 BA, 1:18.1/2:51.7) should be able to help right away.
  2. Ohio Northern – The battle for 2-through-4 in the OAC this year could be incredibly tight, and right now, we are picking the Polar Bears in the two spot, given that they lost the least among that middle three and brought in a strong recruiting class. Sydney Veon (49 pts., 4 relays) is the only loss among the team’s top 11 scorers, and ONU returns top scorer Lauren Halle (57, 4r), who won OAC titles in the 2IM and 200 Fly. Senior Kierra Watson (47, 4r), Marissa Taylor (46, 4r), and diver Libby Sartschev (30) are all back, as well, and they add a deep 10-woman recruiting class. Megan Lubinski (24.21/53.17/2:00.16, 1:01/2:11.5 BA, 1:12.5 BR, 2:15.7 IM) leads the way and is one of the league favorites in the sprints, while Kylee Meredith (2:03.6 200, 1:01.1/2:16.6 BA, 1:00.7 FL, 5:03 IM) and Mya Parsons (57.4/1:59.2/5:27, 1:01.6/2:13.9 BA, 59.3/2:11 FL, 2:20 IM) are both very strong on paper as well.
  3. Mount Union – While the Mount Union women were very comfortably in second a year ago, they lost a massive amount to graduation – 50 percent of their 542 individual points and 14 of their 20 relay swims. Three-time OAC Swimmer of the Year Dana Lautenschleger (60 pts., 4 relays, 200/500/1650 champ) is gone, as are Megan Leibensperger (48, 1r), Jessica Hirsh (40, 2r), Ann Zielasko (33.5, 3r), and five other scorers. Seniors Lauren Oktavec (47), Regina Saxon (42, 1r), and Sarah Gonda (41, 1r) are all back as 40-point scorers a year ago, and the Purple Raiders do add a deep recruiting class. Lindsey Collins (25.06/55.86/2:03, 1:01.8/2:22.2 BA, 1:14.5/2:45.8 BR), Aurelia Incristi (25.04/54.65/1:58.9/5:39, 1:02.1/2:24 BA, 1:11.6/2:34 BR, 2:20/5:03 IM), and Callie Landry (2:03.5/5:26.9/18:38, 2:19.6 BA, 2:47.7 BR, 2:22 FL, 4:52 IM) are among the best of the newcomers on paper.
  4. Baldwin Wallace – BW sliding to fourth is less about what they did and more about what the teams around them did, as the Yellow Jackets recruiting class appears on paper to be the weakest of the three teams in the middle of the league. They return seven of their top eight scorers, including 100 Fly champ Erika Nockengost (51 pts., 4 relays), Olivia Jacob (49, 1r), Marissa Kural (46, 3r), Allie Thorson (40, 1r), swimmer/diver Ellie Clymer (36, 2r), and diver Lauren Franz (31). Madeleine Pierce (25.15/55.25/2:05/5:24, 1:01.3 BA, 1:16.7 BR, 1:02 FL, 5:03 IM) and Kayla McClintock (58.55/2:05.2/5:25.7, 1:04.1/2:23.1 BA, 5:06.7 IM) should both be able to contribute, as should diver Kaylee Beyer.
  5. Wilmington –  The Quakers will greatly miss Samantha Glish (52 pts., 4 relays) this season, as she accounted for more than 40 percent of the team’s individual points from a year ago. Macki Leon (23, 4r) and Margaret Hover (11, 2r) both will look to build off solid freshman seasons, and senior Rachel O’Donnell (10, 1r) also returns for her senior season. Of six newcomers, Kassidy Rogers (1:15.77 BR) appears to be the most ready to contribute.

OAC MEN:

  1. John Carroll – Of the real contenders for the conference title, JCU lost the least and brought in the most, so their road to repeat should have a little more breathing room than it did a year ago. The Blue Streaks return nine of their top 10 scorers from the 2018 OACs, losing just Brian Hulseman (44 pts., 2 relays) to graduation among that group. Two-time OAC Diver of the Year Ryan McClelland (40) leads the way after earning First Team All-America honors on both boards a year ago, and JCU also returns three conference champion swimmers in Matt Ramsey (55, 4r, 50/100 champ), James Pacak (51, 3r, 200FR champ), and Mason Beck (51, 3r, 2BR champ). Patrick Folan (44, 1r), Jack Garrow (42, 2r), and Colin Burke (40) are all back as 40-point scorers, as well. Freshman Forrest Campbell (21.07/46.83, 51.31/1:58.7 BA, 50.03/2:02.5 FL) is on paper the league favorite in the 100 Fly and could contend for other titles, too, while Westin Fishel (21.75/48.69/1:45.5, 2:14.6 BA, 2:06.9 IM), Adam Lenz (21.34/48.54/1:47.1/18:16, 53.7/2:07.4 BA, 59.3/2:10.5 BR, 1:57.1 IM), Matthew Pietsch (50.63/1:47.25/4:45.2, 2:08.7 BA, 2:03.3 IM), Benjamin Rancillo (49.79/1:48.5/4:53.5, 52.9/1:56.6 FL, 1:58.4/4:21.5 IM), and Erik Sriubas (50.0/1:44.9/4:40/16:05, 56.8/2:05.4 BA, 54.1/1:55.7 FL, 2:01.8/4:11 IM) all are capable of scoring major points, as well.
  2. Ohio Northern – After finishing just three points behind JCU a year ago with a devastating relay DQ a factor in the loss, Ohio Northern likely will take a small step back this season, as they lost more than 200 points to graduation. Ian Simpson (46 pts., 4 relays), Conor Cassara (38), Thomas Golba (37, 1r), Braden Kuhn (34), and Duggan Trenary (19) all are significant losses, but the Polar Bears do return six of their top seven scorers, including a pair of conference champs in 2018 OAC Swimmer of the Year Nolan Huey (60, 4r, 2BA/2IM/4IM champ) and Pete He (56, 4r, 1FL/2FL champ). Ryan Mow (46, 1r), Grant Pfeifer (43, 1r), Ryan Groehl (39) and Patrick Reed (39) are all back as well, and while ONU’s recruiting class lacks major top-end talent, it is deep, as all eight men come in with times capable of scoring at OACs. Jeremy Adams (48.90/1:47.2/4:56.6, 56.1 BA, 59.4/2:09.2 BR, 54.9 FL, 2:01.7/4:31.8 IM) is the top of the group with Justin DeLano (17:41.4, 53.99/2:06 BA, 52.9/2:08.6 FL, 4:41.3 IM), Connor Rettammel (49.9/1:52.4/5:06.8, 57.6/2:06.4 BA, 1:03.9/2:18 BR, 54.2/2:02.2 FL, 2:03.7/4:18 IM), and Chris Walton (17:23, 57.3/2:01.7 BA) are also solid.
  3. Mount Union – While the Purple Raiders return top scorer and OAC 500 and 1650 champ Cole Ellsworth (57 pts., 3 relays) and Logan Palochak (45, 4r), they lose six of their top eight scorers, amounting to 244 points – the biggest loss in the league. Gone are graduates Tyler Fry (54, 4r) and Brian Walker (49), and four other key scorers aren’t on this year’s roster in Jack Ineson (45, 3r), Will Turnbull (35), Zachary Grebert (33), and Nic Hoffman (28). UMU does have a strong and deep recruiting class that is right there with JCU’s, led by Isaiah Acosta (49.44/1:46.6/4:51.9/17:28, 1:00.9/2:11.6 BR, 1:56.8/4:14.7 IM), Brian Regovich (50.13/1:47.1/4:51.4/17:01, 2:06.2 BA, 2:04.3 IM), Brett Scheib (50.08/1:47.7/4:44/16:26, 55.0/1:58.4 BA, 2:00/4:27 IM), and Owen Zimmerman (50.88 100, 53.8/1:57.9 BA, 1:59.9/4:26 IM).
  4. Baldwin Wallace – OAC 100 Breast champ Tyler Thompson (27 pts., 3 relays) is BW’s only loss from their 17-18 roster, so the Yellow Jackets should be solidly in fourth this year. Diver and leading scorer Evan Rinaldi (32 pts.) is back, as are double-figure scorers Greg Shaw (31.5, 4 relays), Michael Morsch (24.5, 4r), Austin Lockhart (23, 4r), and Matthew Butt (19, 2r). Freshman Michael Lewis (48.28/1:43.43/4:56.5/18:00, 55.89 BA, 59.07/2:14 BR, 55.6/1:59 FL, 1:58.3/4:59 IM) could become the team’s leading scorer right away, and the additions of Christian Velasquez (1:53.6/18:39, 2:08.5 BA, 57.5/2:09.9 FL, 4:32 IM) and diver Tanner Elenbaas will help, too.
  5. Wilmington –  Wilmington lost more than 80% of its individual points and relay slots from the 2018 OAC Championships in Andrew Stewart (42 pts., 4 relays), David Bellus (29, 2r), Cody Nash (25, 3r), Freddie Snowden (24, 2r), and Alex Tillapaugh (17, 4r). Senior Lawrence Daya (9, 3r) is the team’s top returning scorer. Of the 10 newcomers, Isak Alin (1:02.6 BR, 55.7 FL this season) of Sweden, Aaron Polk (55.25 FL), and Logan Schroer (50.2/1:49.6/5:04.9) seem to be the best bets.

Projected Award Winners:

  • Women’s Swimmer of the Year: Gwyn Ledrick, John Carroll
  • Women’s Diver of the Year: Lauren Franz, Baldwin Wallace
  • Women’s Newcomer of the Year: Megan Lubinski, Ohio Northern
  • Men’s Swimmer of the Year: Nolan Huey, Ohio Northern
  • Men’s Diver of the Year: Ryan McClelland, John Carroll
  • Men’s Newcomer of the Year: Forrest Campbell, John Carroll

PREVIEW: Northwest Conference

There’s a lot of excitement in the Northwest Conference this season, and it starts with something new, as George Fox will be fielding its first men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams this season, expanding the league’s membership in the sport to nine. Six of the league’s seven NCAA qualifiers are back, and there will be very competitive races among the team’s for championship finishes throughout the league.

Here are our projected standings with previews:

NWC WOMEN:

  1. Whitman – Whitman defended its NWC title in 2018 and all evidence points to the same happening in 2019. At the top, Whitman returns four great seniors in Mara Selznick (52 pts., 4 relays) – the 2018 NWC 100 Back Champ who went on to earn HM All-America honors in the same event – Sarah Davidson (47, 1r), Abbey Felley (41, 1r), and Gaby Thomas (39, 2r), to go along with leading scorer and NWC 50/100 Free champ Zoe Hill (53, 3r). The Blues also add the most top-end talent in the league in their five-woman freshman class, led by Bella White (1:57.55/5:14 FR, 1:08.34/2:23.3 BR, 57.68/2:04.0 FL, 2:07.68/4:30.79 IM), the league’s top rookie on paper and a should-be NCAA qualifier. Ashley Joe (25.15/54.05/1:56.6/5:18.9, 58.78/2:07.6 BA, 58.66 FL, 2:11.5/4:40.8 IM) isn’t far behind, and Annika Hobson (1:59.1/5:15.3/18:17) should also make a big impact.
  2. Pacific Lutheran – Kaycee Simpson (57 pts., 4 relays), the 2018 NWC Freshman of the Year, is back after sweeping the fly events at the league championships and qualifying to NCAAs a year ago, and the Lutes also return their next four scorers in Victoria Nguyenle (45, 2r), Taylor Bingea (41, 1r), Lauren Kearney (32, 2r), and Jenna Muller (31, 1r). The departure of sprinter Aspen Monkhouse (31, 4r) to conference new-start George Fox is the biggest loss, as it impacts Pac Lu’s relays, but freshmen Emma Brownrigg (24.74/53.95/1:56.2/5:22/18:45, 1:00.3 FL), Tori Oshiro (5:26/18:45, 2:28.5 BR), Hannah VanHeyningen (1:58.23/5:09.1/18:05, 1:03.3/2:15.8 BA, 4:49.9 IM), and the rest of PLU’s 11-woman class should be able to more than recoup the 76 total individual points lost.
  3. Linfield – Linfield returns its top five scorers and seven of its top eight, led by senior Evette Dow (60 pts., 4 relays), the 2018 NWC Co-Swimmer of the Year after sweeping the distance free events. Fellow seniors Kaedi Fry (49, 4r) and Tahnijo (35, 4r) are also back, as are junior Molli Hartzell (47, 4r) and sophomore Emily Samudio (37, 1r). The Wildcats also add a pair of really strong recruits in Vianka Hoyer (24.41/55.37/2:02.10, 1:01.6 BA, 57.06/2:12.6 FL, 4:51.4 IM) and Abby Mattern (24.98/53.99/1:58.3, 59.15/2:14.4 BA, 58.3/2:12.5 FL, 2:17.4 IM), but the biggest question for the team is returner Elizabeth Fryer, who missed the 17-18 season. At the 2017 NWC Championships, she reached B-Finals in the 200, 500, and 2BA, but her HS times have her as a top-3 scorer in multiple events. If she can recapture that HS form, Linfield may bump ahead of Pac Lu into the second spot.
  4. Whitworth – The Pirates don’t have a single senior on this year’s roster and return each of their top five scorers. Junior Hannah Galbraith (42.5 pts., 4 relays) is back after qualifying for NCAAs a year ago, as are Molly Vagt (47, 3r), Livi Cox (38, 1r), Jamie Siegler (32, 4r), and Marissa Gibson (23, 1r). Of their recruits, Jessica Defiesta (5:18/18:29, 2:15.7 BA, 2:30.2 BR, 2:15.3/4:46 IM), Isabella Hackney (25.14/54.3/1:58.9/5:22.3, 1:01 FL, 2:15.9/4:47 IM), and Eve Vetter (1:02.3 BA, 1:08.7/2:31.8 BR, 59.77/2:15.4 FL, 2:15.3/4:46 IM) should all be able to score significant points.
  5. Lewis & Clark – The Pioneers return the highest percentage of their individual points from last year’s NWC Championships, and that’s a big reason why we have them moving up. Junior Sam Duran (45 pts., 4 relays) and seniors Kassie Kometani (44, 4r) and Eleanor Gerrior (20, 4r) lead the way, and L&C also brings in a pretty strong recruiting class. KK Fiddler (2:00.7/5:26/18:55, 1:00.8/2:07.7 BA, 2:15.4 FL, 2:13.2/4:39.5 IM) is the strongest of the crop on paper, while Alys Chang (2:01.5/5:21 FR, 2:28.7 BR, 2:16.2/4:47.1 IM), Caroline Karson (24.95/55.05 FR, 1:08.3/2:34.9 BR, 58.79/2:13.1 FL), and Ciara Orness (1:08.2/2:29.4 BR, 2:17.4 IM) should all have an impact.
  6. Puget Sound – Kelli Callahan (60 pts., 4 relays) is back after winning NWC titles in the 100 Breast and both IMs to earn NWC Co-Swimmer of the Year honors and a trip to NCAAs in the 400 IM. Calista Skog (46, 4r) and Kassidy Cook (28, 1r) are back, but the losses of Kayla DiMicco (20, 3r), Melisa Kegans (16, 2r), Carmen Mena (18), and Kaarina Nyman (12) all matter, and, by what was available on CollegeSwimming.com, the Loggers’ recruiting class doesn’t appear to be able to offset those losses. Alex Nadelson (1:08.6/2:32 BR) is the most ready to contribute among 11 newcomers.
  7. Willamette – Cassie Tallman (40 pts., 2 relays), Ashlyn Witherwax (26, 1r), and Kate Harvey (8, 3r) have all graduated, leaving Kiley Lin (39, 3r), Niki Kates (36, 2r), and Anna Burdine (18, 1r) to carry the scoring load. None of the Bearcats’ five newcomers appears immediately capable of scoring significant points.
  8. George Fox – The transfer of Aspen Monkhouse (NWC 50 Runner-up, 5th in 100) from Pac Lu gives George Fox a great building block on which HC Natalie Turner can build her brand-new program. Olivia Gibson (24.94/55.3/2:03.4, 1:02.15 BA, 1:01.1 FL) appears to be the most ready among the team’s freshmen, while Chloe Weber, Gabrielle Wood, and Jamie and Joanna Zuckerman have potential on paper. With essentially all but Monkhouse new to collegiate swimming, this team could bump up another spot if the freshmen respond well and improve.
  9. Pacific – New HC Beth Whittle has a lot of work in front of her in her first season at Pacific, Leading scorer Kayla Knock (11 pts., 2 relays) graduated, and the Boxers in total lost 14 of their 20 relay swims from a year ago. Lauren McWilliams (9, 2r) and Maya Okamura (3, 1r) are the only returning individual scorers. Freshman Hannah Brandow (59.88/2:10.19 BA, 1:00.96 FL) is a big pickup but still not nearly enough to lift Pacific out of the league basement.

NWC MEN:

  1. Whitworth – The Pirates did lose HM All-American backstroker Patrick Wilber (51 pts., 4 relays, HMAA in 1BA/2BA) and Jake McCollough (28) to graduation, but they return six forty-point scorers – twice as many as anyone in the league. Reigning NWC Freshman of the Year Ryan Grady (57, 1r) leads the way after winning league titles in the 4IM and 200 Breast, and Owen Lempert (57, 4r) won a pair of league titles as well in the 50 Free and 100 Breast. Byron Rossmiller (50), Keenan Robinson (45, 1r), Eben Schumann (43, 4r), and Jake Davis (41, 3r) are all back, too, and freshman Logan Todd (48.21/1:43.6/4:40.4, 52.63/1:53.4 FL) is one of the best in the league. Finn McClone (47.6/1:44.4/4:46.7, 53.7/1:57.2 BA, 54.3 FL, 4:21 IM) and Alexander Henderson (59.7/2:07.5 BR) should also be able to help immediately, and three other freshmen come in with times capable of scoring, too. While the race for second should be mighty interesting, Whitworth is a clear cut above the rest this year.
  2. Whitman – The Blues lost leading scorer Clark Sun (57 pts., 4 relays) and three others among their top six – Keith Nussbaum (38), Kieran Lenssen (33, 2r), Jared Sears (31, 4r) – which amounts more than half the team’s individual points earned a year ago. Jonah Rodewald (43, 2r) and Fisher Munro (39, 3r) are back, and Whitman’s freshman class is fairly deep. Michael Chang (54.16/2:00.9 BA, 50.97/1:52.15 FL, 1:59.1/4:28.4 IM) is great in the fly events, and Jack Schrader (21.79 50, 57.09 BR) is the early favorite to win the 100 Breast, while Brandon Bees (1:44.27 200, 52.30/2:03.4 FL), Aidan Laird (17:24, 2:14.4 BR, 4:21.4 IM), and Evan Marquardt (4:51.3/16:59, 55.0 BA, 4:17.1 IM) all should be able to contribute, but the margin over Linfield could be even closer than the 29 points it was last year.
  3. Linfield – NWC Swimmer of the Year Noah Cutting (60 pts., 4 relays) is back for his junior season after sweeping the fly events and winning the 2IM at NWCs, but his year finished in disappointment as he took 17th in the 200 Fly and 18th in the 100 Fly at the NCAA Championships, just missing out on adding to his HM All-America honors earned as a freshman. Senior Trevor Gourley (48, 4r) and sophomore Daisuke Fitial (46, 1r) are among the league’s top returners, but the losses of Neirton Oliveira (47, 4r) and Matthew Hanson (33, 4r), among others, will hurt this year. JUCO transfer Matt Lemire (1:46.57/4:44.1/16:23, 54.3/1:59 FL) should make the biggest impact among the team’s newcomers, while Tyler Cook (21.79/47.83/1:47.1, 56.25 BA) and Mitchell Morrison (47.8 100) should also factor in.
  4. Pacific Lutheran – PLU loses three of it’s top five scorers from 2018 in Paul Jett (46 pts., 4 relays), Bryson Baligad (34, 4r), and Dennis Liu (34, 2r), but they do return seniors Bradley Jerome (46, 1r), Jacob Goodman (40, 3r), and Elijah Singstad (25, 4r). Andrew Kwon (49.33/1:45.1/4:53/17:23, 54.1 BA, 2:04.6 FL, 4:29.4 IM) leads the six-man recruiting class, but it’s not likely enough to recoup the team’s losses.
  5. Puget Sound – Puget Sound should challenge Pacific Lutheran for fourth, but the 125-point gap from last year might be just a touch too much to overcome. Dylan Reimers (56 pts., 4 relays) is back after winning the 500 and 1650 a year ago, and Ian Conery (29, 3r) returns, too, but the Loggers did lose Nick Mitchell (30, 3r) and Caleb Van Boven (20, 1r). Brett Kolb (47.95/1:44.79/4:42.48/16:58, 56.05/2:02.7 BA, 1:58.5/4:23.6 IM) and Aaron Zevenbergen (51.6/1:57.8 FL) are the best among the team’s six recruits, while Eli Champagne (52.1/2:00.9 FL, 4:34 IM) and Matthew Cole (21.36 50, 54.5 FL) should help, too.
  6. Willamette – The Bearcats return each of their top four scorers in Ben Hedman (47 pts.), Ben Fritz (42, 4 relays), Derek Ludwig (32, 4r), and Colin Hakeman (31)., but they did lose their fifth double-digit scorer, Mark Yuvienco (29, 4r), to graduation. Their three freshman appear to be pretty raw, but if any surprise, they could climb a spot.
  7. Lewis & Clark – Lewis & Clark returns their top two scorers in Kyle Monteleone (39 pts., 4 relays) and Andrew Butcher (30, 4r), both of whom will look to build off strong freshman seasons. Senior August Bergh (26, 3r) is also a key returner, but the graduation of Miles French (28, 2r) is key, and we aren’t sure that the Pioneers brought in enough to replace him. There are only two freshmen on the team, with JP Greener (21.94/48.17 FR) the most likely to have an impact.
  8. George Fox – Nine swimmers are on the roster for the Bruins in their inaugural season, and JUCO transfer Caleb Dean (21.70/49.5/1:46.4 FR, 53.5/1:59.0 BA) and freshman Zach Johnson (59.67/2:12.1 BR, 53.18 FL, 1:58.75 IM) are the best of the lot while Noah Burlingame (55.18 BA) should also be able to contribute. The gap to seventh ahead seems pretty significant, but, like with the women, if the mostly new squad responds to Coach Turner’s training, moving up isn’t impossible.
  9. Pacific – If it was going to be a long year for the Pacific women, it might be longer for the men, who lost six of the nine athletes on their roster to graduation, including top scorers Raymond Miller (28 pts., 4 relays) and Michael Sakai (9, 4r). Aukai Kea (7, 4r) is the team’s top returner, and Hung Huynh (17:00, 2:15 BR, 1:59.6 FL, 2:00.1/4:18.9 IM) is the best of a five-man recruiting class.

Projected Award Winners:

  • Women’s Swimmer of the Year: Kelli Callahan, Puget Sound
  • Women’s Newcomer of the Year: Bella White, Whitman
  • Men’s Swimmer of the Year: Noah Cutting, Linfield
  • Men’s Newcomer of the Year: Logan Todd, Whitworth

PREVIEW: Midwest Conference

Grinnell’s stranglehold on the top spot in both men’s and women’s swimming and diving in the Midwest Conference won’t end barring something unforeseeable in 2018-19 while Lake Forest will remain securely behind them on both sides. The battles behind those two, however, could be much more interesting.

Here are our projected standings with previews:

MIDWEST WOMEN:

  1. Grinnell – Coming off their sixth-straight MWC title, the Pioneers will have to replace more scoring than any other team in the conference, as MWC Swimmer of the Year Maria Venneri (60 pts., 4 relays, 2IM/4IM/2BA champ), MWC Diver of the Year Summer White (37, 3m champ), and seven other senior scorers combined for 318.5 individual points and half of the team’s relay spots. The good news? The Pioneers had a 270 point cushion, return four of their top five scorers, and brought in the league’s strongest freshman class by far. MWC Freshman of the Year Madeline Peak (55, 3r, 50/100 champ), McKynley Larson (54, 3r, 1BA champ), and Marguerite Devine-Mraz (52, 3r, 2FL champ) are all back after tremendous rookie campaigns, and senior Becca Teske (48) is also among the league’s top returners. The Pioneers have a pair of Rookie of the Year candidates in November Brown (24.62/55.50 FR, 1:07.61/2:27.47 BR, 59.0 FL, 2:14 IM) and Nicole Schlegel (24.8/54.4/1:56.1/5:35, 58.47/2:06.46 BA, 1:14.8 BR, 59.9 FL, 2:11/4:44.3 IM), and Maria Eure (1:01.5 BA, 1:20.9 BR, 1:09.3 FL, 2:25.3 IM), Xonzy Gaddis (26.17 50, 1:04/2:20.5 BA, 1:09.6/2:33.8 BR, 1:06.6 FL, 2:19.1/5:03.8 IM), Enya Gamble (24.71/55.21 FR), Helen St. John (1:15.1/2:41.8 BR, 1:07 FL, 2:25.9/5:16.2 IM), and diver Sophie Wojdylo should all be able to score significant points.
  2. Lake Forest – The Lake Forest women also graduated quite a lot, as three of their top five scorers exhausted their eligibility in Lily McCarthy (57 pts., 3r, 500/1650 champ), Brigit Dunne (47, 3r), and Toni Corbani (41, 1r). Add in the early loss of Corynn Christjansen (38, 3r), and the Foresters have a lot to replace. Susan Guo (51, 4r, 1FL champ) returns after a great freshman year, and juniors Rachel Trevillian (45, 1r) and Ani Karagianis (40), and diver Lizzie Johns (37, 1M champ) are also back. Sarah Burchart (25.06/53.78 FR, 1:14.9 BR, 1:01.2 FL, 2:23 IM) could contend for the 100 free title, and Kylie Morgan (25.61/54.85/2:01.2/5:20, 1:06.2/2:24 BA, 1:17.7 BR, 1:00.4 FL, 2:21/4:57.5 IM) should both score major points. LFC also adds a pair of divers in Missy Bryan and McKinley Scheppler.
  3. Lawrence – Despite returning their top four scorers in Erin Lengel (47.5 pts., 4 relays), Elise Riggle (46, 1r), Emmi Zheng (44, 2r), and Sarah Schwieckart (35), Lawrence should remain solidly in third and a larger margin from second than last year, as their incoming class doesn’t quite replace their graduates. Emei Thompson (34, 1r), Eryn Blagg (33, 4r), Foley Van Lieshout (28, 2r), Rosemary Bauer (27) and two others combined to score 145 of the team’s 403 individual points last year. Freshmen Caitlyn Lansing (1:08.6/2:30.1 BR, 1:08.4 FL) and Laurel Soderquist (1:15/2:42 BR, 2:25.6/5:08 IM) are both solid, but won’t absorb all of those losses.
  4. Illinois College – The Lady Blues didn’t graduate anyone, and the four swimmers they did lose accounted for no individual points and just two relay slots at the 2018 MWC Championships. Kate Edelstein (1:04.3/2:20.5 BA, 1:08.5 FL) on paper is the best of IC’s swimming recruits, and the addition of diver Donna Jenkins should also be a valuable difference. Oh, and junior breaststroke standout Hannah Marks (57 pts., 4 relays, 1BR/2BR champ) is back to lead the way. Senior Marcella Jacquemain (27, 4r) and sophomore Hannah Baker (25, 4r) are also among the team’s top returners.
  5. Ripon –  Ripon loses its top three scorers in Lateesha Hiser (41.5, 4r), Abby Hilker (21, 3r) and Megan Pieper (18). Laryssa Vaclavik (15.5), Kim Frisque (14), and Erin Barrie (13.5) are the only returners to reach double-figures last year. The additions of McKenna Bartelme (1:10.3 BA, 1:08.9 FL, 2:22.5 IM, this season) and Morgan Blaha (1:20.6/2:52 BR) should enough to keep them from falling below fifth.
  6. Beloit – The Buccaneers took a big hit as their top three scorers from the 2018 Midwest Championships all departed early in Briana (37 pts., 4 relays) and Somer (27, 4r) Stoffregen and Morgan Nicholson (22, 4r). Add on the graduations of Heather Warner and Kathleen Kennedy and senior Alexandria Kohn (16, 4r) is the team’s only returning individual scorer. Freshman Eliana Ritt (25.74/54.85/2:02.75/5:23.5, 1:03.3 BA, 1:01 FL, 2:14.3 IM) is a huge addition while Padyn O’Keefe (1:18.97 BR) and backstroker Anna Bunzel both should be able to score.
  7. Knox – Diver Meredith Beck (15 pts.), the team’s leading scorer in 2018, isn’t on this year’s roster, so the Prairie Fire will relay on Sylvia Bowen-Bailey (6, 4 relays) and Zuri Peterson (6, 3r) as their top returners. Melissa Wood (25.76/56.71/2:03.8 FR, 1:04.9 BA, 1:01 FL, 2:17 IM) has potential to more than make up for the loss of Beck’s points.
  8. Monmouth – Monmouth lost more than half of last year’s MWC individual points in the graduation of Michelle Nafziger (23, 2r) and loss of Emily Mathews (11, 4r), but they do have Miranda Pasky (28, 4r) back after a solid freshman season. Marissa Logan (2:05.4/5:40.6 FR, 1:23.2 BR) appears to be the most ready among a five-woman freshman class.

MIDWEST MEN:

  1. Grinnell – The Pioneer men also have a MWC title streak to defend, and their run to number four in a row shouldn’t be too close. Nick Roberson (45 pts.) is the lone loss among the team’s top 11 scorers from the 2018 MWC meet, and the team returns both the 2018 MWC Swimmer of the Year in Paul Cover (60 pts., 2r, 500/1FL/2FL champ) and Rookie of the Year in Mitch Sevier (57, 4r, 50/100 champ), as well as seniors Will Lindell (57, 4IM/2BR champ) and Ben Grubb (49, 3r). Christopher Zhang (49.22/1:48.5/4:49.6/17:32, 1:02/2:15.9 BR, 55.6/2:04.1 FL, 2:00.9/4:17.1 IM) is the best of Grinnell’s recruiting class, while Sean Hopkins (1:55.95/5:04 FR, 55.7/2:02.2 FL, 4:51.89 IM), Dante Smith (59.26/2:17.85 BR, 2:01.5 IM), and Alexander Wurtz (1:55 200, 56.64/2:10.8 BA, 57.5 FL) all can help.
  2. Lake Forest – The Foresters return one thing that no other team in the MWC (or any of the conferences we’ve covered so far, for that matter) does: a national champion. In fact, they return the CSCAA NCAA Division III Diver of the Year in senior Heath Ogawa, who won the 3-Meter title back in March to go with a third-place finish on the 1-Meter board, running his total of overall All-America honors to six (3 1st, 3 HM). The Foresters did lose their top two swimmers in David Bunting (54, 4r, 2IM/200FR champ) and Ethan Hare (50, 4r, 1BR champ), but they return a trio of standout sophomores in Max Rowland (50, 1r), Evan Weller (48), and Nathan Ulm (39, 3r) and two seniors – Blake Rhodes (39, 3r) and Frederick Weichmann (37, 2r). They also have the league’s best recruiting class on the men’s side which collectively is incredibly strong in the distance events. Alec Pittman (50.0/1:46.8/4:40.1/16:33, 2:04/4:15 IM) has an ever-so-slight edge on the rest, but Aaron Helms (1:45.8/4:45/16:31, 54.4/1:56.4 FL, 4:21 IM) and Sebastian Wagoner (48.88/1:44.2/4:42/16:34, 58.3 BA, 2:21.8 BR, 2:01.1/4:26 IM) are right there with him. Jeffrey Nebel (1:50.7/4:52/16:41) and Graeme Witte (22.35/48.14/1:48.5/4:54, 54.4 FL) both should be able to make major contributions, too.
  3. Ripon – The Ripon roster is the most unchanged in the MWC from a year ago. The Red Hawks lost a pair of swimmers at the bottom of their scoring roster and added one in Joe Maddux (58.05 FL). They do, however, return four very strong seniors in Nate Pakosz (42 pts., 4 relays), Jack Lutter (41, 4r), Alec Sutton (35, 3r), and Carson Rose (34, 3r). Freshmen Ethan Ripp (29, 3r) and Ben Georgia (20, 1r) will look to build off solid freshman seasons.
  4. Lawrence – Lawrence should remain squarely in the middle of a tight battle in the middle of the MWC. Anton Hutchinson (52 pts., 3 relays) is back after a great freshman season that saw him win the 1650, and Thomas Goldberg (38, 4r), Charlie Phillips (36, 1r), and Max Stahl (30, 4r) are all also back. However, the graduation of Travis Charlow (26, 3r) and loss of Akio Yamamoto (18, 4r) both make a dent, and neither of Lawrence’s recruits appear ready to help immediately.
  5. Monmouth – Preston Bocchi (56 pts., 4 relays) is coming off a fantastic freshman season that saw him sweep the backstroke events at the MWC Championships, and Rik Doornenbal (38, 1r) and Jake Hall (25, 4r) are also back. The losses of Tom Cangelosi (30, 2r) and Riley Hess (17, 4r) to graduation hurt, but Andrew Shie (22.23/47.58/1:50.5, 1:01.5 BR, 57.7 FL, 2:04.8 IM) and Daniel Kadlec (1:55.3 200, 1:00.4 BA, 57.5 FL, 2:10.9 IM) should help.
  6. Beloit – Beloit lost just one scorer from a year ago in Matthew Shea (13 pts., 1 relay), but their top four scorers are back in Joseph Stephenson (23, 4r), diver Wil Kangas-Olson (16), Meshach Roberts (16, 4r), and Aaron Jolly (14, 4r). The Buccaneers brought in just one freshman, Tenah Gaitor (1:56.41 200, 1:04.88/2:30.75 BR, 56.77 FL, 2:15.44 IM). The difference between Beloit and Illinois could come down to who gets the edge in relays and whether Kangas-Olson adds 3-Meter diving to his repertoire.
  7. Illinois College – The Blueboys lose significant points with the graduations of Elijah Rhoad (28, 4r) and Oak Wattanasirakul (26, 3r), and Ben Allen (40, 4r), the team’s top scorer a year ago, isn’t on this year’s roster. Second-leading scorer Martin Ambre (39, 3r) is back, as is senior Mike Weisenfelder (15, 4r), and three of IC’s recruits – Isaac Daigle (22.64/48.72/1:45.96/4:59, 59.9/2:09.2 BA), Jake Howey (50.1/1:48.1/4:55.5/16:59, 57.2/2:17.9 FL), and Steven Lorett (1:55.1 FR, 55.48 FL) – should be able to contribute.
  8. Knox – Knox lost the majority of their scoring with the graduations of Harry Carpenter (12 pts., 4 relays), Chris Colburn (7, 3r), and Andrew Jacobs (1, 3r). Sophomore Sam Lisec (2, 4r) is the team’s only returning MWC scorer, and there are no obvious points coming among the freshman class.

Projected Award Winners:

  • Women’s Swimmer of the Year: Nicole Schlegel, Grinnell
  • Women’s Diver of the Year: Lizzie Johns, Lake Forest
  • Women’s Newcomer of the Year: November Brown, Grinnell
  • Men’s Swimmer of the Year: Paul Cover, Grinnell
  • Men’s Diver of the Year: Heath Ogawa, Lake Forest
  • Men’s Newcomer of the Year: Alec Pittman, Lake Forest