Coach: Jen Godlewski, 1st season

2016-17 results: 4th in Intercity, 7th in Big 12, 7th in sectional, 36th in state.

Roster: Sr. – Justin Sharp, Carter Burns, Trevor Bray, David Machek; Jr. – Emilio Garcia Ortiz, Casper Trainor; So. – Robby Pratt, Kendall Cross, Paul Miller, Jonathan Godlewski, Ian Maubach, Michael Sellmyer; Fr. – Thomas Asis, Rodney Woggon

FYI: Jen Godlewski is the first new BHS head coach in 38 years as she replaces Bob Loy. This 14-man squad is led by Robby Pratt, who ranked second among area butterfly swimmers a year ago at 53.62. Justin Sharp, Kendall Cross and Carter Burns were members of last season’s first-string relays. Other probable top scorers are Paul Miller and Ian Maubach.

The Purple Raiders opened the season Friday with a 126-54 loss at Peoria Richwoods.

Quoting: “We have a strong young team and the focus will be on building a foundation for success, not only short term, but long term as well. For this season, the biggest goal is to get one or two individuals to the state meet and have 100 percent time improvements for everyone. Long term, the goal is to grow the program in numbers. Our boys have a lot of heart and are very competitive. As our coaches work on their technique and overall conditioning, they will give teams a run for their money.” – Jen Godlewski.

Central Catholic

Coach: Bill Rhodes, 6th season

2016-17 results: 5th in Intercity, 11th in sectional.

Roster: Sr. – Max Moews, Bo Bevilacqua; Jr. – Chris Russell, Thomas Costigan, Alex Zlatic, Nick Barnes, Ben Barnes, Ben O’Meara, Sean Peyres; So. – Michael Costigan, Jackson Epply, Gannon Harrington, Nick Bush, Nick Marshall, Cory Hundman, Liam Greil, Mic Bauer, Liam Brady, Martin Harrington; Fr. – Alec Lastuka, Josh Vogel, Brandon Hauck.

FYI: This 21-man squad (five more than last year) is the largest in the program’s six-year history. Look for the top scorers to come from among Chris Russell, Max Moews, Ben O’Meara, Liam Greil, Bo Bevilacqua and Cory Hundman. The co-captains are Russell and Moews.

The Saints’ new conference, the Illini Prairie, does not have an official league swim meet, but it will conduct an invitational on Feb. 3 involving Pontiac, Olympia, Lincoln, Mahomet-Seymour, St. Thomas More, Petersburg Porta, Charleston and Jacksonville Routt.

Quoting: “We are pretty similar to last year with even more depth.” – Bill Rhodes

Normal Community

Coach: Heather Budak, 12th season

2016-17 results: 2nd in Intercity, 3rd in Big 12, 4th in sectional.

Roster: Sr. – Trevor Tucci, Mitchell Travis, Tyler Yuan, William Svob, Austin Alexander, Alex Woodrum; Jr. – Kevin Chen, Shannon Pinto, Sean Dennis, Ian MacDonald, Isaac Sagers; So. – Mason Burns, Ethan Lowder, Ben Patty G’Sell, Thomas Reedy, Jeremy Sigrist; Fr. – Shouri Bochetty, Ronith Dasari, Seth Harshbarger, Charles Jackson, Austin Neal, Andrew Svob, Christian Travis.

FYI: This 23-man squad will be gunning for a high Big 12 finish. The lone state meet veteran is Trevor Tucci, a eight-time state champion in events for athletes with disabilities. Ethan Lowder ranked third among area 50 freestylers a year ago at 22.46. Kevin Chen, Shannon Pinto and Mason Burns return from last year’s 200 medley relay lineup.

The Ironmen opened the season with a third-place finish in Saturday’s 11-team Macomb Invitational.

Quoting: “The outlook for the season looks good. We have several returning swimmers from last year. Once they get in shape, they will be competitive. We are looking forward to putting together some competitive relays this season. We have some young talent on the team and we are looking forward to seeing how they develop.” – Heather Budak.

Normal West

Coach: Becky Braman, 11th season

2016-17 results: 3rd in Intercity, 6th in Big 12, 5th in sectional.

Roster: Sr. – Spencer Allsop, Evan Beilfuss, Michael Dixon, Ryan Gibson, Max Hassett, Zach Holder, Adam Jett, Caleb Jirik, Koleton Kauth, Thomas Lipka, Jakob Stearns; Jr. – Nate Anderson, Gabriel Bush, Nathan Christiansen, Connor Eicher, Chase Hamel, Reid Peterson; So. – Tyler Ahrens, Andres Almanza, Jack Colwell, Quinten Harn, Brett Hassett, Ethan Holder, Ben Hunt, Sean Kelley, Ethan Laptew, Kenny Martin, Zach Poehlman, Ben Rutledge, Joe Stearns; Fr. – Jackson Ahrens, Elijah Bush, Elijah Capps, Jackson Cochran, Cade Crader, Austin Feaman, D.J. Gibson, Kyle Pish, Tyler Schupbach, Owen Shi.

FYI: More than half of this 40-man squad is new to the program, which has one of its biggest freshmen turnouts (10) in years. Look for the top scoring swimmers to be Ben Rutledge, Connor Eicher, Tyler Ahrens, Jackson Ahrens and Kyle Pish. The best of the team’s six divers are expected to be Caleb Jirik, Tyler Schupbach and Zach Poehlman. Jirik ranked fifth in the area last season with a six-dive best of 170.50 points.

Coach Becky Braman rates Peoria Notre Dame as the Big 12 favorite and University High as the Intercity favorite.

Quoting: “I am excited to see how my team progresses this season. They are a great group of boys and have really worked hard in the first two weeks so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. We are dedicating our season to Coach Rachel Dean, who is truly missed by myself and the boys who swam with her last year. (Dean died Sept. 14 in a car accident.) There will be a little touch of green in our suits this year so we have a part of her with us throughout the season.”

University High

Coach: Michelle Meyer, 25th season

2016-17 results: 1st in Intercity, 1st in sectional, 14th in state.

Roster: Sr. – Jordan Bechara, Harrison Fudge, Colton Stogner, Anthony Williamson; Jr. – Josh Nepomuceno; So. – Matt Hansel, Jake Harrison, Alex Hess, Andy Ritsema, Tom Stamets, Jonah Sweet; Fr. – Grant Alexander, John Green, Connor Jessen, Kalen Nepomuceno.

FYI: This 15-man squad, which has 10 underclassmen, is ranked ninth in the state. Alabama recruit Colton Stogner tied for fifth in last year’s state 50 free and finished sixth in the 100 free. His 100 free best of 45.46 is the Pantagraph area record and his 50 best of 20.72 ranks second in area history. He also swam on the 11th-place state 200 free relay (1:2571) with Anthony Williamson and Josh Nepomuceno and swam on the 11th-place state 400 free relay (3:10.0) with Williamson.

Wisconsin recruit Harrison Fudge holds the area record in the 100 breaststroke at 58.27. He was 15th in the state 100 breaststroke and 33rd in the state 200 IM (1:56.71). Williamson was 20th in the state 200 free (1:43.16) and tied for 23rd in the state 100 free (47.69). U High’s 22nd-place state 200 medley relay (1:38.48) included Andy Ritsema, Josh Nepomuceno and Fudge.

Diving chores will be handled by Grant Alexander, Matt Hansel and Tom Stamets. For the first time, U High swimmers have a conference affiliation. The Central State Eight Conference Meet is Feb. 3 at Springfield.

Quoting: “We are off to a great start to our season. The boys are working hard and we are excited to see what the season brings.” – Michelle Meyer.

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— Compiled by Randy Sharer


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