Despite the winter weather, its time to jump in the pool for the Lakeland Union High School boys’ swim team.

The season opens up Tuesday with a dual meet in Antigo and the Thunderbirds are going to look a whole lot different than last year when they race the Red Robins.

Lakeland lost six seniors from a team that won both the Great Northern Conference and their Sectional, and took fourth overall at the State meet.

Jack Garcia and Grant Gibson graduated after both having record setting years.  

Garcia set a school record in the 500-yard freestyle and Gibson set new marks in the 50 and 100 freestyle.

They were also part of  school record-setting relay teams in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, but so were a trio of Lakeland swimmers that will return this year.

Junior Brandon Boh and sophomore Liam Hogan were part of the 200 free relay team’s record setting effort and Boh and senior Alex Tucker were on the 400.

All three swimmers also had impressive conference seasons as individuals. 

Boh was the runner-up champion in the 100 and 200 yard freestyle.  Hogan was runner-up champ in the 500 free, and Tucker was a conference champion in the 200 freestyle and runner-up in the 100 yard butterfly.

A fourth returning T-Bird, Tyler Teichmiller, was also a conference champion in the 100 yard breast stroke and runner-up champ in the 200 individual medley.

If these times get any faster, Antigo, who also lost quite a few seniors, is in real trouble.

The Red Robins, who finished fifth in the conference meet last year, do have Brett Farmer, who was the conference champion in the 100 backstroke. He also took third place in the 200 individual medley and he qualified for state in the 100 butterfly.

Still, with all of Antigo’s new swimmers, head coach Chris Garcia believes it will be a good match up for her younger guys.

“I think this will be a good meet for our team to start with as we have a lot of new swimmers this year,” he said. “I’m sure everyone will have competition in their events.”

The meet in Antigo will be at the Clara R. McKenna Center and starts at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Jacob Friede may be reached at jacob@lakelandtimes.com or sports@lakelandtimes.

com.