Franklin, Ind. - Franklin College men's and women's swimmers and divers will challenge for individual, relay group, and team honors in the five-team Heartland Invitational, being hosted by the Grizzlies on Saturday, January 23, at 1 p.m. from Franklin Community High School.
Joining Franklin in the meet will be Defiance College, Manchester University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and Transylvania University. Teams in the men's and women's meets will earn points for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's Commissioner's Cup all-sports championship standings.
Franklin's women's swimming and diving team is a two-time defending Heartland Invitational champion, while the men's squad has finished second during the past two years.
Leading the way for the Grizzlies this year will be junior Artur Schneider (Zurich, Switzerland), who has provisionally qualified in three events for this year's NCAA Division III national championships. He currently has the nation's sixth fastest time in the 100-yard backstroke (49.40 seconds). Schneider also ranks ninth nationally in the 200-yard individual medley (1:51.07) and 12th in the 200-yard backstroke (1:49.86).
Freshman diver Will Combs (Indianapolis, Ind./Perry Meridian) won the 1- and 3-meter diving competitions at last Friday's home dual meet against DePauw University.
Junior Bailey Willoughby (Greenfield, Ind./Greenfield-Central) is coming off a win in the 100-yard butterfly race.
The 200-yard freestyle relay team of senior Joel Foreman (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead), junior Nick Allen (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield), Willoughby, and Schneider also was victorious against members of a nationally ranked DePauw squad.
Meanwhile, the women's team stands 9-1 in dual meets and opened 2016 by winning the Colonel Classic at Centre College on January 8-9.
Freshman Bri Gunning (Whiteland, Ind./Whiteland Community) is coming off a victory in the 3-meter diving competition against DePauw last Friday. She placed second off the 1-meter diving board in the same meet.
Sophomore Amy McCormick (Floyds Knobs, Ind./Floyd Central) has been a top performer in the middle and distance freestyle events. She won the 500-yard freestyle race against DePauw.
Junior Regina Solik (Clayton, Ind./Cascade) leads the sprint freestyle unit, while freshman Mackenzie Dwyer (Longmont, Colo./Skyline) and sophomore Kaitlin Mans (Louisville, Ky./DuPont Manual) round out the team's balanced effort in freestyle and breaststroke races.