KEY: back–backstroke, breast–breaststroke, dist.–distance or 200 and 500 freestyle, fly–butterfly, free–freestyle, IM–individual medley, sprints–50 or 100 freestyle, dive-diving
Coaches’ predictions: 1. Okemos, 2. St. Johns, 3. DeWitt, 4. Jackson, 5. Holt, 6. Haslett, 7. East Lansing, 8. Grand Ledge
Top athletes: Ryan Armbrustmacher (DeWitt), Andrew Himebaugh (Okemos), Nick Schieberl (DeWitt), Cayden Petrak (St. Johns), Zeke Ely (St. Johns), Ewan Woolcock (Okemos), Alexander Eddy (Okemos), Arison Harris (Grand Ledge), Brock Petrak (St. Johns), Will Kirkconnell (Holt)
Last season: 3-4 (t-4th)
Coach: Brock Delaney (9th season)
Top returning athletes: Ryan Armbrustmacher (sr.-sprints), Nick Schieberl (sr.-all events), Ryan McVicker (jr.-sprints/breast), Myles Michalski (so.-fly/IM), Josh Rick (sr.-sprints), Drew Stiffler (sr.-free), Kyle Hellems (jr.-dive), Nick Counseller (jr.-dive)
Other contributors: Luke Swadley (jr.-free), Zac Hakes (so.-dist.)
Outlook: Delaney believes this year’s senior group is one of the best during his nine-year tenure. He said depth will be an issue, which could hurt in dual meets, but believes the Panthers will be solid at both the league and state meet. Armbrustmacher and Schieberl are returning Dream Teamers for DeWitt.
Last season: 5-4 (t-7th)
Coach: Brian Post (11th season)
Top returning athletes: Jerry Sweitzer (sr.-back/IM), Wesley Pasikowski (sr.-dive), Zach Sneathen (jr.-IM/breast), Jack Sparrow (jr.-dist./free), John Ward (jr.-fly/IM), Matthew Eriksen (jr.-breast/IM), Karim Seif (so.-back/IM)
Other contributors: Cam Spicer (jr.-back/IM), Aidan Dettweiler (so.-fly), Johnny Kalandarov (jr.-IM), Daniel Winston (so.-dive), Matias Jimenez (fr.-free)
Outlook: The Trojans will be young this season, as they have just two seniors on their roster. East Lansing will bring in 15 freshman and will look to build on last season’s conference finish. Sweitzer was a league finalist in the 100 backstroke last season and Pasikowski qualified for regionals in his first season on the team last year. Sneathen is a returning CAAC finalist in the IM and breaststroke.
Last season: 8th place
Coach: Greg DeWitt (1st season)
Top returning athletes: Arison Harris (sr.-breast), Nathan Buchweitz (sr.-free)
Other contributors: Joey Wood (fr.-free)
Outlook: After finishing third at the Division 2 state meet last season, Harris returns to a Comets team that is looking to improve in the conference. Buchweitz is a returning four-year varsity swimmer, and DeWitt believes Wood, a freshman, has the potential to have a strong first season.
Last season: 6-3 (3rd)
Coach: Robert Oliver (15th season)
Top returning athletes: Kai Jeffery (sr.-back), Brandon Cook (sr.-breast), Ben Brittain (so.-fly), Nathan Glaza (sr.-fly), Mitchell Marrs (sr.-free), Danten McFate (jr.-dive), Grant Porter (jr.-dive), Aaron Gillengerten (jr.-breast)
Other contributors: Ian MacFarlane (fr.-IM), Brad McMahon (sr.-free), Nate Magnusson (jr.-free)
Outlook: The Vikings return Division 3 state qualifiers in Jeffery and Brittain but lost 17 seniors from last year’s squad, which includes five state qualifiers. Oliver sees this season as a “major rebuilding year.” Jeffery placed 16th at the Division 3 state meet, while Brittain set three freshman records last year.
Last season: 2-5 (6th)
Coach: Marty Pohl (9th season)
Top returning athletes: Will Kirkconnell (sr.-free), Noah Richards (sr.-free/breast), Mickey Moore (sr.-free), Alex Coleman (jr.-back)
Other contributors: Braeden Pfeil (fr.-IM), Mackenzie Mahew (fr.-free)
Outlook: The Rams will add 12 new swimmers with hopes of moving up in the conference. Kirkconnell, Richards and Moore are three seniors expected to be big contributors for Holt this season.
Last season: 1st
Coach: Patrick Saucedo (8th season)
Top returning athletes: Andrew Himebaugh (sr.-back/IM), Ewan Woolcock (jr.-free), Alexander Eddy (so.-free), Adam Schnepf (jr.-free), Kevin Yan (jr.-IM/breast), Jonny Fata (sr.-free), Arya Kale (jr. fly/back), Ishan Patke (jr. free/IM)
Other contributors: Hunter Hollenbeck (fr.-dive), Matthew Langley (so.-dive)
Outlook: The Chiefs are on a quest for their ninth straight league title and will bring back some strong swimmers from last year’s team. Himebaugh grabbed a top-16 finish at the Division 2 state meet as a junior and Woolcock finished in the top 8 in the 50 and 100 freestyle events at the CAAC meet. Eddy was a CAAC champion in the 500 free. Saucedo is hoping Okemos can grab a top-10 finish at the state meet. The Chiefs opened the season by winning the Waverly Relays.
Last season: 7-1 (2nd)
Coach: Kim Brewbaker (16th season)
Top returning athletes: Zeke Ely (jr.-sprint/free/IM), Justin Woodbury (sr.-sprint/free/breast), Ben Rumney (sr.-dist./fly), Brett Post (sr.-sprint/free), Bryce Smith (so.-dist.), Kyle McNamara (so.-fly/IM), Sam Beagle (jr.-breast/IM), Brock Petrak (sr.-dive), Cayden Petrak (so.-dive)
Other contributors: Harrison Clapsadle (so.-back), Bryce Harger (sr.-sprint/free), Mason Hudgens (jr.-dist.), Bob Wu (sr.-free/fly)
Outlook: The Redwings lost six seniors from last season but Brewbaker believes he has a “strong group” of upperclassmen and returnees. Brock and Cayden Petrak both placed in the top 10 at the Division 3 state meet last season, and Rumney finished 14th at states in the 200 free. St. Johns will be one of the teams in contention to knock off Okemos for the conference’s top spot.
Coaches’ predictions: 1. Waverly/Lansing Catholic, 2. Mason, 3. Owosso, 4. Eaton Rapids, 5. Williamston/Lansing Christian, 6. Ionia, 7. Charlotte, 8. Lansing Legacy
Top athletes: Bradley Barningham (Eaton Rapids), Joe Wright (Waverly/Lansing Catholic), Luke Lathrop (Eaton Rapids), Niels Lashbrook (Waverly/Lansing Catholic), Matt Hofman (Mason)
No information submitted.
Last season: 6-7-1 (5th)
Coach: Christian Quada (2nd season)
Top returning athletes: Bradley Barningham (sr.), Cody Kelly (sr.), Josh Owen (sr.), Chris Letarte (jr.), Luke Lathrop (so.), Nick Stoner (jr.)
Other contributors: Cameron Barton (fr.), Wyatt Houck (fr.), Calib Hill (fr.), Jordan Hawkins (so.)
Outlook: The Greyhounds will look to improve on last year’s CAAC Red finish. Barningham is one of the conference’s top performers and will be a key piece for Eaton Rapids this season.
No information submitted.
No information submitted.
Last season: t-1st
Coaches: Connie Cantrell and Jason Fish
Top returning athletes: Matt Hofman (jr.-free), Jacob Hazwinkle (sr.-back/IM), Sam Calhoun (sr.-fly/IM), Zach Ares (sr.-free), Nash Bennett (sr.-all events), Lucas Barnes (jr.-sprint)
Other contributors: Anthony Branson (fr.-sprint), Dillon Buck (so.-fly/IM)
Outlook: The Bulldogs lost 12 swimmers from last season and Cantrell says her team will undergo a rebuilding year. Hofman is a returning state qualifier and Calhoun was an all-league selection a year ago. Mason is hoping to remain near the top of the league.
Coach: Pam Coe (1st season)
Top returning athletes: Daniel Hood (jr.-fly/free), Brendan Gute (jr.-back/IM), Arthur LaVigne (jr.-fly/breast), Mitchell Fisher (jr.-dive)
Other contributors: Trever Bowers (so.-free/fly), Traverse Campbell (sr.-free)
Outlook: Coe will undergo a bit of a rebuilding year in her first season as coach, as the Trojans graduated nearly 10 senior swimmers from last season’s team. Hood, Gute, LaVigne and Fisher are all three-year varsity athletes for Owosso.
Last season: 6-3 (t-1st)
Coach: Dave Hill (9th season)
Top returning athletes: Joe Wright (sr.-IM/fly), Niels Lashbrook (jr.-dist./free), Bryson Hill (jr.-free), Robie Estill (so.-fly/back), Jack Stanley (jr.-free), Mason Chorpenning (jr.-back)
Other contributors: Jaden Coe (sr.-free), Isaac Godbey (jr.-free), Will Long (so.-all events)
Outlook: The duo team of Waverly-Lansing Catholic won seven events in the CAAC Red tournament last season and will return a solid core in 2016. Wright is the defending league champ in the 100 butterfly and 200 IM, while Lashbrook won the league title in the 500 freestyle a season ago.
Last season: 3-3 (t-4th)
Coach: Dave Metts (1st season)
Top returning athletes: Jack Bellinger (jr.-fly/IM), Brock Monette (so.-free)
Other contributors: Caleb Stover (fr.-free), Griffin Mitchinson (fr.-back)
Outlook: The Hornets will only have 11 swimmers/divers for the upcoming season, and first-year coach Metts believes it could be a challenging year. There are no seniors and only one junior on Williamston’s roster, but Metts hopes his team will be able to be competitive in the league meet. Also, he’s hoping to have a couple of swimmers qualify for states.
Last season: 5-7
Coach: Karl Dahlke (25th season)
Top returning athletes: Zach Denison (sr.), Alexis Underwood (sr.)
Other contributors: Will Schmidtfranz (fr.)
Outlook: The Marauders have nine returning swimmers and 17 newcomers. Ovid-Elsie has 12 freshman, and Dahlke said he believes the future is bright.
Contact James L. Edwards III at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.