Scouting MSL girls swimming
When: 11 a.m. Saturday
Team outlook: Fremd is the defending conference champ and delivered a decisive dual meet victory in its own pool against Barrington a couple of weeks ago. But the battle for the top spot in the conference meet figures to be heated, as both the Vikings and Fillies have terrific No. 1 and 2 swimmers across the full spectrum of events. The conference format might negate some of Fremd's amazing depth with No. 3 swimmers, which made the Vikes such a formidable dual-meet foe. The relays will be key, especially the performance of Barrington's freestyle foursomes. Whatever the outcome, count Barrington and Fremd as the top two teams in the league by far, and it will almost certainly be close between them. But the battle for third will be fun to watch. MSL East champ Prospect has superb depth and balance but will have a tough time scoring top-three finishes against the talent assembled from the 12 teams here. Palatine figures to have a great shot at third place, with Hersey, Conant, Schamburg and a small but talented Wheeling team battling it out for the next spots.
Top seeds: Fremd's 200 medley relay, Barrington's Kirsten Jacobsen in the 200 free, Fremd's Saki Takumiya in the 200 IM, Barrington's Mekenna Scheitlin in the 50 free, Palatine's Amy Zahn in the 100 fly, Scheitlin in the 100 free, Jacobsen in the 500 free, Fremd in the 200 free relay, Wheeling's Theresa Godlewski in the 100 back, Barrington's Andrea Vega in the 100 breast, Barrington's 400 free relay.
Races to watch: All of the fastest heats will be terrific, but the 100 fly and 100 back are particularly tightly bunched. The team championship will likely come down to the 400 free relay, in which Barrington has the top seed but lost to Fremd in their dual meet.
-- Aaron Gabriel