• FAVORITE: Pick ’em.

• CONTENDERS: Kentridge, Jefferson.

• WATCH OUT FOR: Tahoma, Auburn Riverside, Kentwood.

• OUTLOOK: No one team • OUTLOOK: No one team seems to be particularly loaded, but there’s some genuine state-title talent in a couple of places, and some potential state qualifiers at several schools. Kentridge is always a contender because … well, it’s Kentridge, where depth is typically a strong suit. It figures to be again for the Chargers this year, with four swimmers who factored into the team’s state points last year — Jacqueline Do, Stephanie Giralmo, Kari Keller and Megan Sandall — all returning. Kentwood lost two-time state 200 IM champion Marley Prothero to graduation (she’s on scholarship at Nevada-Las Vegas) and head coach Mark Prothero to retirement. But the Conquerors are always knocking on the penthouse door, and more often than not, the dual-meet title comes down to them and KR. Kentlake starts off with state championship contender Chelsea Bailey, and that’s a great place to start, although the Falcons will need points from plenty of others to hang with that upper echelon of teams. Coach Dave Wright, who helped build the Kentridge juggernaut, is in his second year at Tahoma, so don’t be surprised if the Bears start to take on a similar trademark of finding success with depth. Auburn Riverside shared the SPSL 3A title with Enumclaw last year, the first aquatic crown of any kind — girls or boys — in the school’s 12-year history. Most of that Ravens team is returning.

• CIRCLE ON THE CALENDAR: Sept. 23 — Kentridge at Jefferson. Considered the prime contenders for the division title. Sept. 30 — Tahoma at Auburn Riverside. Up-and-coming Bears take on last year’s SPSL 3A co-champion. Oct. 2 — Kentwood at Kentridge. Usually the most anticipated dual of the season — and usually with title implications, too. Oct. 2 — Auburn at Kentlake. No guarantees it’ll happen, but wouldn’t it be fun if Auburn senior Trisha Averill and Kentlake sophomore Chelsea Bailey got to swim at least one high school race — any race — against each other?

— Mark Moschetti/For the Reporter