At 11 a.m. today, all of the Fox Valley Conference boys swimming teams will square off at Woodstock North for the FVC meet.
Only two swimmers are allowed entry in each event at sectionals so the conference meet usually has a plenty of swimmers on the same team vying for the final spot creating fast swims.
"Teams generally know who their top swimmer is in each event," Cary-Grove coach Rick Schaefer said. "But it is those swimmers who are second and third in their events that compete for the final spot.
Here's a look at key swimmers and where each team stands heading into tomorrow's FVC Conference meet.
The Trojans are expected to win the meet. Schaefer said Wednesday his medley relay is set, but the following two will be determined by individual swims leading up to the relays.
Swimmers to watch: Michael Hamann and Tyler King
Hamann is a three-time state qualifier who will most likely advance to the state meet in Evanston a fourth time. King has made large improvements this season and is one of the top sprinters in the conference. Last year as a junior, Schaefer said King would "get inside his own head too often."
"Last year, he would get up on the blocks and look to either side of him and say 'this kid can beat me, so can this kid and this kid'," Schaefer said of King. "But this year not many kids are capable of beating him, and I think he's realized that now."
The Blue Streaks' strength lies in the relays. They can compete with any team in the conference because of their combination of fast sprinters and off-stroke specialists. It will be interesting to see how the Blue Streaks and Jacobs co-op matchup because of the similarities between the two.
Swimmers to watch: Adam Steinken, Henry Gantner and Morgan Hofmann.
The three seniors are the backbone of the team. Steinken has lofty goals set for himself in the 100 breaststroke and has been swimming better each meet. Gantner is a quick sprinter that will rival the Trojans' Tyler King.
Hofmann's 100 backstroke is something to watch for as he has said he takes "pride in the race and I know I can go a lot faster than what I've already done." The three also combine for one of the fastest 400 free relays in the conference.
The Golden Eagles have strengths in numerous events. They figure to matchup well with the Blue Streaks in the relays and with Cary-Grove in the individual events.
Swimmers to watch: Alex Reinbrecht and Josh DeDina
Reinbrecht went to state last season as a sophomore and is the best distance swimmer in the area. The junior has capabilities of going a sub 4:40 in his 500 freestyle in the coming weeks and he will be tough to hang with in the 200 freestyle.
DeDina, a senior, is a two-time state qualifier and will look to challenge the Trojans' Hamann in the 200 individual medley.
The Warriors are a young team with only one senior but the strength in the underclassmen is overwhelming. Coach Craig Fowles has a strong nucleus of young talent that will be able to compete for the conference title in the coming years.
Swimmers to watch: Kevin Braun and Adam Jensen
Braun is a freshman who is one of the better swimmers in the conference. He broke two meet records at the Woodstock Invite earlier in the season so he swims well at this pool. Look for him to be around the top place-finshers.
Adam Jensen, the squad's only senior, has come on strong in the last few weeks. He boasts a strong 100 freestyle which should be able to go under 50 seconds. The 100 freestyle race will be tight Saturday as the Blue Streaks Hofmann is around the same time in the event.
The Red Raiders won a few big dual meets near the end of the season, which is a good sign headed into the next few weekends.
Swimmers to watch: Benjamin Cazel and Matthew Haage.
Cazel and Haage are the perfect compliment to one another. Cazel, a freshman, has been swimming the 500 freestyle with improvement each time he gets in the pool and Haage is a 50 freestyler.