Fox Valley Conference
Coach: Scott Lattyak (fifth season)
Last year: First at FVC Meet
Key returning swimmers: Melissa Rose (sr.); Ashlynn Baker (so.); Karsen Seeger (so.);
Top newcomers: Sarah Pilut (fr.); Sejal Dhindsa (fr.); Emily Havard (fr.)
What to expect: Lattyak said he has a lot of depth at JV this year and is hoping some of that will wash over to varsity. The Trojans have a lot of returning swimmers and Lattyak feels they will be just as strong as they were a year ago.
Crystal Lake Central co-op
Coach: Stephanie Wozny (second season)
Last year: Fifth at FVC Meet
Key returning swimmers: Nora Mollitor (so., Prairie Ridge); Tessa Shorten (so., Prairie Ridger); Elizabeth Pieroni (sr., Prairie Ridge); Julia Janeczko (jr., Crystal Lake South); Isabella Portincaso (jr., Crystal Lake Central).
Top newcomers: Valerie Tarazi (fr., Prairie Ridge); Jensen Byer (fr., Crystal Lake South); Iliana Portincaso (fr., Crystal Lake Central)
What to expect: Wozny said she has a lot of new swimmers this year and is looking to improve their dual meet record and place in the top three at the conference meet. Tarazi could vie for a state title but the Tigers could send a couple more swimmers to state.
Coach: Marilyn Lemke (third season)
Last year: Seventh at FVC Meet
Key returning swimmers: Gabriela Wasilewski (sr.); Kelly Swanson (so.); Rachel Skoog, (sr.); Jessica Pslanz (jr.); Kellie Mucha (jr.); Amy Merkelz (so.); Karyn Leal (sr.); Faith Kenaga (so.); Natalya Damato (so.); Rachel Bucholc (so.)
What to expect: The Chargers return their entire varsity lineup from a year ago and have the largest squad they have had in four years. Lemke and assistant coach Jackie Duggar are using a team approach this season and not separating out the JV and varsity practices to develop a stronger team and capitalize on each coaches strong points.
Coach: George Keenan (third season)
Last year: Third at FVC Meet
Key returning swimmers: Emily Ferguson (sr.); Emily Krebs (sr.); Jacqueline Padal (so.);
Hailey Hill (so.); Jaclyn Smittendorf (so.)
Top newcomers: Lindsey Ferguson (fr.); Alli Cravens (fr.)
What to expect: The Red Raiders have a good core of swimmers but may struggle with depth. Keenan believes there are a few who are ready to take it to the next level.
Coach: Emily Susmarski (First season)
Last year: Second at FVC Meet
Key returning swimmers: Faith Terlecki (sr.); Sydney Erickson (jr.); Rochelle Sia (so.); Alexa Agoranos (so.); Jackie O’Connor (jr.)
Top newcomers: Isabelle Bazaro (fr.); Katie O’Connor (fr.)
What to expect: Susmarski takes over at her alma mater (2009) and is hoping to get three or four of her swimmers to state including Terlecki, Erickson, Agoranos and Bazaro.
Coach: Mike Shanahan (35th season)
Last year: Sixth at FVC Meet
Key returning swimmers: Danielle Ezop (sr.); Lindsey Brenner (sr.); Ashley Palmer (sr.); Sarah Wright (sr.); Jacklyn Walter (jr.); Sarah Lesniak (jr.); Kristin Naughton (jr.); Allyson Ezop (so.); Amanda Cole (so.); Elise Raquel (so.); Hannah Lange (so.)
What to expect: Shanahan calls it quits after being the face of McHenry swimming for nearly 50 years on the boys and girls teams. The Warriors best chance for state this year may be Lange in the 500 freestyle.
Coach: Renee Walker (Second season)
Last year: Fourth at FVC Meet
Key returning swimmers: Tess Devinger (jr.); Lizzy Kruse (jr.); Gianna McGuire (jr.); Katie Ferguson (jr.); Abby Roberts (jr.)
Top newcomers: Margaret Zawadzki (fr.); Marianna Kostova (fr.)
What to expect: Walker is emphasizing dry land and strength training this year and not as much practice time in the water. Pool practices will focus on speed training and developing the swimmers’ fast twitch muscles. Devinger looks to qualify for state in the 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley.
Five to Watch
Valerie Tarazi Prairie Ridge, fr.
Tarazi has state cut times in seven of the eight high school events before she swims her first meet. She could be in the mix for a state title in both the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke.
Melissa Rose Cary-Grove, sr.
Rose is a three-time state qualifier in the 100 breaststroke. She is looking to swim for a place finish at state this season.
Tess Devinger Woodstock, jr.
Devinger is an accomplished all-around swimmer and has a chance to make it to state in the individual medley and breaststroke.
Hannah Lange McHenry, so.
Lange had a solid freshman season and could challenge for a state berth in the 500 freestyle.
Isabelle Bazaro Jacobs, fr.
Bazaro has already established herself as a team leader and hard worker. She looks to qualify for state in a freestyle event or backstroke.