Lawrence High boys swimming coach Pat Grzenda will get several opportunities in December to sift through her team's strengths and weaknesses.
The Lions have five December meets, starting with Thursday's home dual with Shawnee Mission South.
"Right now it seems overwhelming," Grzenda said of the number of meets. "But after the new year, we'll probably be glad we have done it this way.
"We're going to find out more about our weak spots as we move into these next few weeks."
Grzenda, in her third year as the LHS boys coach, has identified the team's strength -- diving. The Lions return defending state champion David Jacobs, a senior co-captain. Jason Schweitzer is the team's No. 2 diver.
"We're seeing a pattern of two strong in each event and then that third slot is going to be wide open for people who want to step up and take some responsibility," Grzenda said.
The Lions, who placed sixth at last year's state meet, return six state qualifiers, including Jacobs.
"We're going to be strong in freestyle and backstroke with Jun Kuribayashi and Chris Collins," Grzenda said. "I think they'll help us in all the distances."
Kuribayashi and Peter Grant go two-deep in the backstroke. In the breaststroke, Craig Phillips, a senior co-captain, and Luke Malone are solid, Grzenda said.
Malone placed 10th at state last year in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.18).
Malone, Fabio Simoes and Kyle Brown are the team's top butterfly swimmers. Simoes placed 10th at state in the 100 fly (58.54).
"We've got people who can swim every event," Grzenda said. "We're just not real deep. We're going to have to search for that depth."
Grzenda said the team lacks swimmers who can compete in more than one event.
"I don't know if we have a lot of versatility," she said. "We're going to have to really learn what everybody's strengths are."
The Lions' opener against SM South is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., Thursday, at Knox Natatorium. LHS has three other home meets, plus the state meet at KU's Robinson Natatorium in mid-February.
Grzenda expects Blue Valley Northwest to repeat as state champions with Shawnee Mission West and Manhattan contending.
December: 1-Shawnee Mission South. 3-at Olathe East Invitational. 7-at Manhattan (Kansas City Washington, Junction City). 14-at Topeka (Topeka West, Salina South). 16-at SM Northwest (Olathe South).
January: 5-Kansas City Rockhurst, SM North, Leavenworth. 14-at Mo-Kan Invitational at Kansas City Central. 19-SM West, Topeka, Topeka West. 25-Olathe South. 28-at SM East diving invitational
February: 3-4-Sunflower League at SM East. 17-18-state at Robinson Natatorium.
Seniors: Kyle Brown, Jason Czerniak, Tim Ducker, Bryan Haack, David Jacobs, Nate Pelsma, Craig Phillips, Jason Schweitzer, Tim Steger.
Juniors: Chris Collins, Milivoje Dimitrijevic, Peter Grant, Michael Johnson, Sam Lee, Luke Malone, Dylan Standish.
Sophomores: Nathan Kettle, Jun Kuribayashi, Steve Miller, Jesse Sears, Fabio Simoes, Lei Wei, Brian Woydziak.