Franklin, Ind. - Successful regular seasons have Franklin College men's and women's swimmers and divers prepared for the final turns and splashes of this season, starting with the Liberal Arts Championships, from Wednesday, February 10 through Saturday, February 13 at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois.
The men's team is the two-time defending champions of this meet, and has posted a 10-2 dual meet record this winter, along with winning the Centre College Colonel Classic this winter. Meanwhile, the women's squad has been second-place finishers in each of the past two seasons, and should be another strong contender this year after a 10-1-1 regular-season dual meet record, and team titles in the Heartland Invitational and Colonel Classic.
Junior Artur Schneider (Zurich, Switzerland) has earned the Liberal Arts Championships' Male Swimmer of the Meet honors in 2014 and 2015. He enters this year's meet ranked among the nation's best NCAA Division III swimmers in three events: 100-yard backstroke (49.40 seconds, ranking sixth nationally), 200-yard individual medley (1:51.07, ninth), and 200-yard backstroke (1:49.86, 13th).
Freshman diver Will Combs (Indianapolis, Ind./Perry Meridian) has posted a regional-qualifying performance in the 1-meter event in the Grizzlies' dual-meet victory against Illinois Wesleyan University on January 30.
Other strong contenders for the men's team include junior Bailey Willoughby (Greenfield, Ind./Greenfield-Central) in the 100-yard freestyle, and sophomores Sam Hall (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro Catholic), in the middle freestyle distance races and Zach Daily (Indianapolis, Ind./Perry Meridian) in the distance freestyle events. All three were victorious in those events against Illinois Wesleyan.
Junior Nick Allen (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield) has been a top performer this season in the freestyle events and on relay teams.
For the women's team, sophomores Karlee Demsey (Jeffersonville, Ind./Jeffersonville) and Kaitlin Mans (Louisville, Ky./DuPont Manual) enter the 2016 championships after event victories against Illinois Wesleyan. Demsey touched the wall first in the 100-yard butterfly. Mans won the 100-yard breaststroke, while joining with Demsey on the runner-up 200-yard medley relay team.
Junior Regina Solik (Clayton, Ind./Cascade) has led the team's sprint freestyle efforts this winter, and freshman Bri Gunning (Whiteland, Ind./Whiteland Community) is coming off a pair of first-place finishes in the 1- and 3-meter diving events in the Illinois Wesleyan dual meet.
Qualifying rounds of the 2016 Liberal Arts Championships begin each day at 11 a.m., with the top 16 swimmers advancing to the finals that evening.