KEY: back-backstroke, breast-breaststroke, dist.-distance or 200 and 500 free, DT-Lansing State Journal Dream Team selection, fly-butterfly, free-freestyle, IM-individual medley, MD-middle distance, S-sprints
Coaches' predictions: 1. Okemos, 2. Grand Ledge, 3. St. Johns, 4. DeWitt, 5. Jackson, 6. Haslett, 7. Holt, 8. East Lansing
Top swimmers: Rachael Charlow (Grand Ledge), Alex Chow (Okemos), Alexandra Davis (St. Johns), Katie Dudley (Okemos), Marygrace Fries (Jackson), Grace Kao (Okemos), Kate Lehman (Haslett), Megan Shaughnessy (Jackson), Taylor Stenson (Grand Ledge), Sarah Stine (DeWitt), Emily Wozena (Okemos), Rosalie Yockey (DeWitt)
Last year: 5th (2-5)
Coach: Gregg Brace (26th season)
Top returning swimmers: Rosalie Yockey (sr.-dist/free/IM/DT), Audra Kimble (sr.-dist/free/IM), Maddie Dingeldey (so.-S/breast), Emily Hieftje (jr.-S/fly), Emily Gustafson (sr.-S/back), Marissa Hoffman (sr.-MD/back), Sarah Stine (so.-diving/DT), Gabrielle Roy (sr.-diving/S), Savannah Buzinski (jr.-S)
Outlook: The Panthers return a number of swimmers that received honors, including LSJ Dream Team members Yockey and Stine. In addition, seniors Kimble and Roy were selected to the MISCA second team all-zone 7 squads while Gustafson, Dingeldey and Hieftje were all accorded honorable mention recognition. Expect this team to improve on last year's finish.
Last year: 7th (4-7)
Coach: Ron Marsh (36th season), Brian Post and Tom Kulman
Top returning swimmers: Mariana Jimenez (sr.-free/fly), catherine Schwertzing (so.-IM), Taryn Scherms (jr.-breast), Madison Briggs (jr.-free), Cassandra Erikson (sr.-breast), Leah Ring (sr.-diving), Monica Bian (so.-breast)
Top newcomers: Laurel Cullerton (fr.-fly), Zora Mondol (fr.-fly), Grace Smith-Jobski (fr.-free), Kelly Swietzer (fr.-breast)
Outlook: The Trojans return Mariana Jimenez, who was all-league honorable mention last year. The team lost 11 seniors to graduation and this young group will have to come together quickly to build on last year's performance.
Last year: 1st (11-0)
Coach: Ian Townsend
Top returning swimmers: Rachael Charlow (sr.-back, DT), Rachel Kehren (sr.-dist), Taylor Stensen (sr.-S/breast/DT), Lissa Mueller-Hayes (jr.-S), Colleen Simon (jr.-breast), Sarah Blundy (sr.-back/fly), Kendall Ilieff (jr.-S), Liz Wood (so.-free), MacKenzie Classens (sr.-back)
Other contributors: Katie Thomas (fr.-fly), Alexis Everett (fr.-free)
Outlook: The Comets return two LSJ Dream Team members in Charlow and Stensen. In addition, Kehren was a second-team MISCA all-zone 7 honoree while junior Simon made honorable mention. The team may take a step back from last season but not too far back.
Last year: 7th (3-4)
Coach: Damon Robertson (1st season)
Top returning swimmers: Claire Beckett (sr. IM/breast), Kate Lehman (jr. IM/fly), Maria Fiorillo (sr. IM/fly/breast)
Other contributors: Allie Choi (so. free), Amy Kach (fr. diving)
Outlook: The Vikings have some work to do under first-year coach Robertson. All-area selection Lehman returns, and Haslett will receive an additional boost as 2011 all-area selection Beckett returns to the pool after not swimming in 2012.
Last year: 6th (3-6)
Coach: Marty Pohl (5th season)
Top returning swimmers: Abby Cleary (sr.-free), Jenna King (sr.-IM/fly/back), Lauren Kirkconnell (jr.-free/back/IM), Kelsey Marsh (so.-dist./free)
Other contributors: Kyndall LeVette (so.-back/free), Alexis Lefever (fr.-free)
Outlook: The Rams lost many top scorers from last year's squad and are low on numbers this season. Top returnees include second team all-zone seven honoree Cleary as well as King and Marsh, who both made honorable mention. Still, this is a team that could qualify for the state meet in relays.
Last year: 1st
Coach: Patrick Saucedo (6th season)
Top returning swimmers: Katie Dudley (sr.-IM/free/DT), Grace Kao (sr.-back/free/DT), Emily Wozena (sr.-fly/free/DT), Alex Chow (jr.-breast/fly/DT), Carly Seeterlin (jr.-free), Alice Wynn (jr.-free), Samantha Lu (so.-fly/back), Jessica Peterson Jones (so.-breast)
Top newcomers: Freyja Garbaccio (fr.-fly/back), Sarah Williams (fr.-free/fly)
Outlook: The Chiefs boast four LSJ Dream Team members in Dudley, Kao, Wozena and Chow. Dudley was LSJ swimmer of the year and an all-stater who holds the Okemos school record in the 100 freestyle. Kao is the school record holder in the 100 backstroke, and Wozena and Chow were selected to the MISCA all-zone 7 first team. Junior Seeterlin was a second team selection, while sophomore Lu made honorable mention. This is once again the top team in the area.
Last year: 4th (4-3)
Coach: Kim Brewbaker (11th season)
Top returning swimmers: Alex Davis (jr.-dist/100 free/DT), Kari Bellant (sr.-back/S), Kayla Bellant (so.-back/100 IM), Lily Burns (jr.-diving), Sarah Hileman (so.-S), Catherine Voisin (100 fly/200 IM), Hailey Welch (100 fly/200 IM)
Top newcomers: Meg Pope (fr.-breast), Emma Schaefer (fr.-breast/dist), Rachel Ely (fr.-various), Callie LaBar (fr.-back/free)
Outlook: The Redwings have a strong group of underclassmen returning that includes LSJ Dream Team member and state finalist Davis. Joining her are second team MISCA all-zone 7 selection Kari Bellant and honorable mention sophomores Hileman and Voisin. St. Johns could be a deeper team than it was last season.
Coaches' predictions: 1. Mason, 2. Ionia, 3. Corunna, 4. Williamston/Lansing Christian, 5. Eaton Rapids/Charlotte, 6. Owosso, 7. Lansing Legacy (Everett/Sexton/Eastern), 8. Waverly/Lansing Catholic
Top swimmers: Shyenne Fish (Ionia), Kaliegh Krupp (Mason), Kirsten Climer (Lansing Legacy), Grace Jansen (Waverly/Lansing Catholic)
Last year: 5th
Coach: Jeff Reeves (3rd season)
Outlook: No further information was submitted about the Cavaliers.
Last year: 4th (5-2)
Coach: Ken Bos (6th season)
Top returning swimmers: Jenna Beemer (sr.-breast), Elle Bos (sr.-fly), Alyssa Poyer (sr.-IM), Danielle Rock (sr.-free), Alexus Wood (sr.-dist.), Christine Rock (so.-diving), Rebecca Lathrop (so.-diving), Caroline McManus (jr.-breast), Katelnn Jackson (so.-fly)
Other contributor: Katie Roman (jr.-dist.)
Outlook: Eaton Rapids/Charlotte features five returning seniors who are each beginning their fourth year on the varsity and five swimmers who are entering their first season at the varsity level. Overall, this is an experienced team and one that could turn some heads this season.
Last year: 3rd (4-4)
Coach: Kimarie Abadeer (5th season)
Top returning swimmers: Kendall Alcalar (sr.-breast/back/S), Shyenne Fish (jr.-back/breast), Katey Jeffers (so.-back/breast), Larissa Piggott (so.-S), Eileen Weiber (jr.-back/breast), Madeline Weiber (jr.-back/breast)
Top newcomers: Alison Fuller (fr.-diving), Cadence Nutt (fr.-back/breast), Lindsey Wood (fr.-back/breast)
Outlook: The Bulldogs return second team all-zone 7 junior Fish as well as senior Alcar from last season's third-place squad. The rest of the team is young but coach Abadeer is optimistic about the team's chances.
Last year: 7th (1-6-1)
Coach: Nate Burchfield (5th season) and Bryan Scott (8th season)
Top returning swimmers: Madison Jones (sr.-IM), Kirsten Climer (sr.-S), Sabrina Butler (jr.-S/fly), Samantha Butler (jr.-dist./back)
Other contributors: Mikayla Crawford (jr.-dist.), Morgan McNally (so.-S/back)
Outlook: Everett/Eastern/Sexton has a strong senior class that includes MISCA all-zone 7 honorable mention swimmer Climer and could be a team that makes a jump in the CAAC Red. It's a big year for the program.
Last year: 1st (7-2)
Coach: Connie Cantrell (8th season)
Top returning swimmers: Hannah Billig (sr.-IM/breast), Kaleigh Krupp (sr.-dist.), Rebecca Rogers (jr.-free), Abby Johnstone (jr.-diving), Rachel Johnson (jr.-S), Brooke Hedglen (jr.-back), Mariah Matthiesen (jr.-fly), Haley Clark (jr.-dist.)
Other contributors: Kiana Namvansy (fr.-S)
Outlook: Billig won the 100 breaststroke, Krupp the 500 freestyle, and Rogers the 100 free at the league meet. Each made the MISCA second team all-zone 7 team for the Bulldogs, who will be trying to repeat as CAAC Red champions. Rogers earned honorable mention.
Last year: 3rd (4-3)
Coach: Eric Murray (1st season)
Top returning swimmers: Valentina Larrivey (so.-free/back), Madelyn Irelan (free/fly), Rashelle Ocenasek (so.-IM/breast), Carmen Chamberlain (so.-free)
Top newcomers: Elisabeth Moebus (various), Natalie Taylor (fr.-various), Madison Chmiko (fr.-back), Alyssa Barrett (fr.-breast)
Outlook: The Trojans lost eight seniors from last year and are looking to rebuild with a new head coach and a team filled with sophomores and freshmen. Owosso looks to improve as the season progresses.
Last year: 8th (0-8)
Coach: David Hill (8th season)
Top returning swimmers: Grace Jansen (so.-IM/breast), Alayna Parsons-Valles (sr.-free/fly), Madison Miller (jr.-dist./free), Marisa Sevenski (jr.-back), Brenna Albin (so.-free/IM)
Other contributors: Olivia Czajka (so.-various), Jordan Mankel (so.-dist./free), Melanie Hunter (jr.-fly)
Outlook: The Warriors are small in numbers, so they might make more noise in the conference meet than in dual meets. Grace Jansen made honorable mention all-zone 7 last season and is one of the better young swimmers in the area.
Last year: 2nd
Coach: Morgan Rosentreter (1st season)
Top returning swimmers: Allie Heineman (so.-free/back), Marie Hetherington (jr.), Kelsie Hasse (so.-free), Taylor Dollar (jr.-breast)
Other contributors: Katie Witty (so.-diving), Lydia Kugler (so.-back)
Outlook: Williamston/Lansing Christian is a very young team under first-year coach Rosentreter and are looking to improve as the season goes on. The team includes three swimmers from Lansing Christian.
Last year: 3rd in SCMSA (7-3)
Coach: Jeff Huxley (43rd season)
Top returning swimmers: Kaleigh Kovac (sr. free), Laura Lowe (sr. back/free), Grace Laffoon (jr. free), Natalie Walsh (sr. free), Emily Kolb (so. IM/back)
Other contributors: Evelyn Vandmark (fr. free/fly), Alissa Adams (fr. free/breast)
Outlook: The Panthers bring back Kovac, who's a two-time all-stater and a member of the LSJ Dream Team. Also returning are second team all-zone 7 swimmers Lowe and Walsh as well as honorable mention selection Laffoon. The Panthers look to be strong once again in the Southwest Central Michigan Swim Association, which also includes Allegan, Plainwell, Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic, South Haven and Otsego.
-David Cassilo and Jack Dowd