The Forester swimming and diving teams will travel to Grinnell College for the Midwest Conference Championships this weekend.
The Lake Forest men placed second and the women fourth at the 2016 MWC Championships and both squads figure to be near the top of the league standings again this year. Five-time MWC Coach of the Year (four women, one men) Vadim Tashlitsky's rosters include seven athletes who either won at least one individual event or contributed to a relay title last season.
The team's lone returning champion on the women's side is Lily McCarthy, who won the 1650-freestyle by more than 30 seconds and placed in the top four in two other events. Emily Bowens and Lauren Dalecky, who have claimed MWC titles in previous seasons, continue to rank at or near the top of the conference rankings in several events this year and are in position to be two of the top performers in the conference.
The Forester men bring back the defending champions in six individual events and at least half of four different first place relay teams. Orion Huey won the 100-butterfly in 2016 and the 200-backstroke each of the last two seasons. He and Travis Johnson, the 50-freestyle champ in 2014 and 2016, have each contributed to six relay titles during their careers. 2015 MWC Swimmer of the Meet Sam Freedberg prevailed in the 200-IM a year ago and now has five individual championships and a pair of relay crowns in his career. Virgil Thomas won the 100-backstroke, Heath Ogawa posted the league's highest 3-meter diving score, and David Bunting led off for a pair of first-place relays last season. Teammates James Haney, Ryan Keast, and Chris Martinez join the list of defending champions as significant contributors at this year's conference meet.