BIG 12 CONFERENCE
When: Diving 5:30 p.m. Friday; swimming 11 a.m. Saturday.
Outlook: Notre Dame will be going for its fourth straight conference title since joining the league in 2014. Last year the Irish won just two events, but beat meet favorite Normal Community by 31 points. This season, the Ironmen again have swimmers with better times in most individual events and in all three relays. Normal Community's Grace Ariola is the state leader in the 50 freestyle (:23.04), the 100 free (:51.02), the 100 backstroke (:54.27) and the 200 IM (2:04.76). Ironmen also have the state's best time in the 400 free relay (3:32.03). Melissa Pish of Normal West is the state leader in the 200 free (1:49.42). Notre Dame's Ashton Amerman and Catie Schimmelpfenning were on the 200 free relay team that set the conference record last year at 1:41.34.
When: Diving 7:45 a.m., swimming 10 a.m. Saturday.
Outlook: Noelle Peplowski of the Metamora Co-op and Emma Theobald of the Dunlap Co-op, last season's Journal Star Co-swimmers of the Year, will be competing in this meet. But the Eagles are favored to win their fourth straight Mid-Illini title. Theobald has the best times in the state in both the 100 butterfly (:54.74) and the 500 free (4:54.11), leads the area in four events and is second in four more. Peplowski, the 100 breaststroke state champ as a freshman, has the state's second-best time in that event (1:03.83) and the third-best time in the 500 free (4:58.78). Dunlap freshman Elizabeth Sowards is the area leader in both the 50 free (:23.74) and 100 free (:52.23). Pekin’s Kelen McDaniels has made it to state in both the 50 free and 100 free the past two seasons.