Experience: Fenwick swimmer Connor Brown is one of the returnees from the 200-yard freestyle relay team that went to state last season.J. GEIL/Staff Photographer

With a few returning state contenders from last year and more than a handful of new recruits, the Fenwick boys swim team looks poised for another successful season.

Returning seniors who swam in last year’s 200-yard freestyle relay event at state include Eric Bell, Connor Brown and Ryan Greenway. All three return after strong offseasons swimming for clubs such as TOPS or the Westmont Swim Club. The 200 freestyle relay finished ninth overall last year with a time of 1:27.25. Both Bell and Greenway also qualified for state last season in individual events.

Two other seniors that are sure to contribute this season are Garrison Johnson (freestyle) and Ted Herbstritt (freestyle, backstroke).

But head coach Luke McGuire also has 14 other swimmers at his disposal this season, including a group of talented juniors. Mike Hanfland, Viken Huening, Rich Mueller, Fabian Herrera, Dan Kelly, Bryce Peters and diver Alexander Morales are expected to play major roles this season.

“We’re hoping to get all three relays back [to state] again and some more individuals as well,” said McGuire, who is now in his fourth season as head coach and is amazed by how fast swimmers are getting each year.

What McGuire has going for him this season is a good mix of experienced swimmers and new recruits. Justin White (freestyle), Matt Farmer (backstroke, butterfly, IM), Jimmy Mullen (breaststroke) and Matt Bresnahan (freestyle) head up a strong sophomore group competing on varsity this year. Freshman freestyler Zach Tieke also is expected to factor into the equation this season.

The Friars will try to improve on last season’s fourth place finish in the Metro Catholic Aquatics Conference, which shouldn’t be too difficult considering how the younger levels finished last year. The Frosh/Soph team won their conference title last season.

The Friars were to open the season against cross-town rival OPRF last night (Dec. 7, after deadline). They travel to Marmion on Thursday and Sandburg on Friday (both at 5 p.m.). On Saturday they host St. Viator and St. Rita at 10 a.m.

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Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...