Breck/Blake is about to bump Rochester from the podium's No. 1 spot in boys swimming.

Breck/Blake, a cooperative of two Twin Cities private schools, has its sights set on an eighth consecutive team championship when the boys swimming state meet gets underway Thursday at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota campus. Breck/Blake won its seventh straight Class 1A title a year ago, matching Rochester's record from 1953-59, when there was only one class.

The three-day meet begins Thursday with diving preliminaries in both classes and concludes Saturday with the Class 1A finals at noon followed by Class 2A at 6 p.m.

Last season Breck/Blake won nine of the 12 events en route to the team title by a distant 204 points. This season is a bit different: Breck/Blake is the top seed in only four events.

Senior Josiah March (500-yard freestyle) and junior Henry Webb (200 freestyle) are back to defend their individual titles. Webb, who is bound for Yale, is the top seed in the 200. March, headed to Johns Hopkins, is seeded second in the 500.

Senior Andrew Colgan, a Colorado College recruit, is favored in the 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley. Breck/Blake also has the top time in the 200 medley relay.

Breck/Blake coach Brian Wright warned that others are on the rise. The team includes two sophomores and 10 members from grades seven through nine.

"We have a phenomenal group of junior and senior leaders who have all enjoyed individual success," he said. "Their biggest contribution this year, though, was bringing along our group of young swimmers. They did an exceptional job helping the coaching staff implement and sustain a positive culture.

"We have always been about mixing hard work with fun, and this year was no different albeit with a younger crew."

Lake supremacy

The Lake Conference powers — Eden Prairie, Edina and Minnetonka — as a group are one up on Breck/Blake. The three schools have won the past eight large school championships.

Last season, Eden Prairie surprised four-time defending state champion Edina to win the title. The Eagles have won two titles during the stretch.

No. 1-ranked Minnetonka, which has also won two titles during the span, is the favorite this season. No. 2 Edina is expected to make a run at the Skippers.

Keep an eye on fourth-ranked Prior Lake/Jordan, the third-place finisher in 2023.

Star power

Sophomore Micah Davis of team TCRB (St. Cloud Tech, St. Cloud Cathedral, Rocori, Becker) burst onto the scene as a double winner last year. He will look to successfully defend his Class 2A titles in the 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle. He owns the state's fastest times in both events this season, 48.19 seconds in the 100 butterfly and 1 minute, 37.91 seconds in the 200 freestyle.

Five others in Class 2A could pull off doubles: Edina junior Jiarui Xue, Lakeville South senior Gage Boushee, Minnetonka junior Evan Witte, Prior Lake/Jordan junior Ethan Kosin and Stillwater junior Jackson Kogler. That will be pared to two after the must-see 200 individual medley. All but Kosin are entered in the event. He will go head-to-head-to-head with Boushee and Witte in the 100 freestyle.

Witte is the defending state champion in the 100 freestyle, Xue in the 500 freestyle.

Rosemount junior Lucas Gerten is the Class 2A two-time defending champion in diving and is positioned for a three-peat.

In Class 1A, Hutchinson senior Conner Hogan is a threat to sweep the freestyle sprints, the 50 and 100. He is the defending state champion in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. Hogan, committed to Wisconsin, owns the state's fastest time in both events this year. Hogan isn't swimming the 100 butterfly, which he won the past two years, in his final season. He will go head-to-head against Webb in the 100.