The Molalla swim team returns a number of talented swimmers this season, including four-time district champion junior Alisha Issa

PIONEER PHOTO: CONNER WILLIAMS - Molalla junior Alisha Issa competes in the 200 Freestyle during the Indians' dual meet against Gladstone last season. Head coach: Melissa Georgesen, seventh season

Key returners:

Girls: Junior Alisha Issa (Four-time Special District 2 champion in the 200 Freestyle and 100 Fly); sophomore Cori Oster; senior Abigail Harth, senior Savannah Cruthers (questionable)

Boys: Bryce Webber, senior Peter Mueller, senior Garrett Abeln, sophomore Linden Mackenzie, sophomore Maxwell Kavanagh, junior Ben Hamilton, and sophomore Nolan Miller

Season outlook: Georgesen said the team has nearly 30 swimmers so far, making this the largest team fielded in several years. The increased numbers should help the Indians' ability to form relay teams, adding more events for the team to compete in at meets throughout the season.

Georgesen said she is most excited this season to see the seniors swim their last season; their freshman and sophomore years, they had to practice and compete at the Woodburn pool while the Molalla River School District and City of Molalla figured out how to open the Molalla Aquatic Center for the swimming team to use.

"They worked hard and stuck with the program when it was at its hardest point," she said. "I am very proud of these guys."

Georgesen said she expects Issa, Oster, and Harth to lead the girls' team, which may be hindered a bit this year as Cruthers is currently out with an injury, and her return is questionable. The boys' team will be led by Webber, Mackenzie, and Abeln, and Gerogesen said there are a number of incoming freshman that will be able to make a difference as the season progresses.

Georgesen said she is also excited that they'll have the opportunity to host five meets this season in addition to a large invitational; the facility's capability of hosting events was showcased last season at the district tournament.

First meet: The Indians will host Silverton for a dual meet on Friday, Dec. 1 at 4:15 p.m.

Conner Williams
Sports Reporter/News Contributor
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