Coach: Dave Auston
Top returnees: Senior Madison Rinaldi (20th state 100 back, 21st state 200 IM); juniors Karleen Gernady, Jackie Hren, Michelle Koruna, Lauren Raush, Kylinn Cobb
Outlook: Rinaldi will be looking to not only qualify for state for the third straight year but will try to become Lakes' first medalist. Rinaldi will also help the Eagles' quest for relay success again at the NSC and sectional meets. "Our main focus is to try to score points at the conference and sectional meets and do well for a high school that has no pool," Auston said. "We are looking to place in our relays at conference. The girls that are in our conference are the ones that compete well at sectionals and state; we want to take full advantage and try to race them."
Coach: Erik Rogers (sixth season)
Last year: 3rd in NSC
Key losses: Sophia Lex (BYU, 9th place state 200 medley; state 50 free and 200 free relay), Morgan Dunleavy (state diving)
Top returnees: Juniors Macey Neubauer (9th state 200 medley relay; 20th state 100 breaststroke), Staci Herchenbach (9th state 200 medley relay; state 100 fly and 200 free relay), Harriet Davies (state 200 free relay); sophomores Meredith Robbins (9th state 200 medley relay; state 200 free relay), Emma Richert (state 200 IM)
Outlook: Having 75 percent of the an All-American 200 medley relay back in Neubauer, Herchenbach and Robbins is a good place to start for the Wildcats. "We're looking to better our state finish from last season and for a top three finish (in the NSC)," Rogers said. "We're a young team that should have lots of state qualifiers." Davies and Richert also got valuable state experience last year and will help the Wildcats make an impact in the postseason.
Coach: Rahul Sethna (12th season)
Last year: 5th in state, 4th in NSC
Key losses: Karrie Kozokar (water polo at Indiana; state champion 200 free relay, 3rd state 400 free relay, state 50 and 100 free), Allie Booth (water polo at Carthage), Anna Ward (water polo at Wagner)
Top returnees: Seniors Erin Falconer (state champion 200 free relay, 2nd state 100 and 200 free, 3rd state 400 free relay), Jenn Kordik (state champion 200 free relays, 3rd state 400 free relay, 18th 100 breaststroke), Rachel Robb (state champion 200 free relay, 3rd state 400 free relay), Kelsey Toland (28th state diving), Aijan Umat, Lauren Blake, Michelle Swiatkiewicz, Paige Falato, Morgan Gryn, Katie Finerty, Marissa Rehor; juniors Sasha Levin, Tara Lawson, Rachel Finerty
Top newcomers: Freshmen Molly Mishler, Abigail Lukas, Maggie Franz
Outlook: The Mustangs follow their best season in program history ranked sixth by Illinois Top Times with Division I recruit Falconer looking for a big finish to her decorated prep career. "It's interesting, Kristen Jacobsen of Barrington potentially could leave the state as an eight-time state champion, which is unheard of, and the one person in her way is Erin," Sethna said of how close Falconer was to two individual titles last year. "With Erin we'll just continue to build upon what she's built on each year in her career. She'll give it her best shot and do what she can to come out on top." Kordik is another top 10 recruit who is back and Robb stepped up to become a vital part of the Mustangs' relay success. Sethna is hoping the improvement of the three relay returnees will help whoever steps in to fill the spot left by Kozokar's graduation. "All the girls on the team last year, whether or not they swam at state, played such a huge part to the success we had by being in the pool every day pushing the other girls," Sethna said. "It's a senior-laden group and it's their last chance to leave a legacy for the program." Having a healthy Toland, who made state for the second straight year despite diving with a torn meniscus in her knee, will help in the battles in the NSC with Stevenson, Lake Forest, Libertyville and Warren.
Coach: Karl Milkereit (12th season)
Last year: 7th in state, NSC champions
Key losses: Julia Wawer (6th state 100 free, 9th state 200 free, 6th state 200 and 400 free relays), Cheryl Xiang (Yale, 4th state 100 and 200 free, 6th state 200 and 400 free relays), Rebecca Hannon (Michigan State, 12th state 500 free and 200 medley relay), Riley Kirby (6th state 200 and 400 free relays, 12th state 200 medley relay), Leah Bloodgood (12th state 200 medley relay), Courtney Kamin (three state place-winning relays)
Top returnees: Senior Shayna Salzman (state 500 free), Ashlin Ruiz
Top newcomers: Juniors Irune Andres, Casey Kirby
Outlook: Successful programs reload rather than rebuild and that figures to be the case for Stevenson after losing the majority of its state crew to graduation. "When you lose a class like that you're not going to bounce back and be as strong, but we've always had a steady flow of kids and girls who are year-round club kids who work hard and know they have an opportunity this high school season," Milkereit said. "We had a really strong JV team like we always do, and obviously some of those kids weren't able to be a member of our varsity, but they would definitely be varsity members on other teams so I think we're looking pretty solid." Salzman will get a chance this year to swim a full complement of events at the end of the season with the 200, 500 and relays. Ruiz will get an opportunity to show her versatility. Casey Kirby will also add speed to the Patriots and Andres, who moved in from Switzerland, will make an impact in the freestyles, breaststroke and IM.
Coach: Kedric Greenawalt (eighth season)
Last year: 5-5 overall, 6th in NSC
Key losses: Alice Zhang
Top returnees: Seniors Lisa Cheng, Summer Hemesath; sophomore Lilly Hemesath
Top newcomers: Junior Susana Peszek; freshmen Nicole Pinter, Emily Vodavoz
Outlook: The Cougars continue to make strides in what is arguably the toughest conference in the state. Look for Cheng and the Hemesath sisters to break through and get to the state meet. "We've continued to add to our depth and we hope to finish in the top half of the conference championship," Greenawalt said. "On a state level, qualifying multiple individuals and relays is the goal."
Coach: Chris Bertana (second season)
Last year: 5th in NSC
Key losses: Paige Wells (Kentucky, 10th place state 200 medley relay, state 50 and 100 free and 200 free relay), Jessie Grasty (10th place state 200 medley relay, state 200 IM and 200 free relay), Katie Travelstead (Missouri club team, state 200 free relay)
Top returnees: Senior Megan Delfeld (10th place state 200 medley relay); juniors Katie Bell, Samantha Kroc, Megan Wantoch; sophomores Courtney Barker (10th place state 200 medley relay, 13th state 100 back, state 50 free and 200 free relay), Gemma Russell
Top newcomers: Sophomore Ally Samonds; freshmen Danielle Glisovich, Megan Wong, Emily Wong, Jacqueline Goldman
Outlook: Last year's late breakthrough, to finish second in the sectional to Lake Forest and claim the program's first medal-winners in 18 years in the 200 medley relay, appears to be only the beginning for young Blue Devils. "We're pretty excited about what we can do this year and the next couple of years," Bertana said of his underclass-dominated varsity roster. "This season is about getting the younger kids more acclimated to the high school end of things -- the energy and excitement that comes from being on a high school team and seeing what they're capable of doing this year." Delfeld is about a half-second from her goal of breaking the 100 breaststroke school record set by star Carolyn Grevers (1:06.72) in the mid-1990s. Barker will be looking to be even busier on the season's final Saturday this year while taking on more leadership. Glisovich brings a lot of speed and versatility and the Wong twins and Goldman will help Warren cover a wide variety of events. Samonds and Wantoch are also looking to make an impact in diving. "We're a little bit deeper than we've been in the past," Bertana said. "The freshmen are really filling in that second or third spot."