Maeda, Mountainside swimming hope to move up Metro ranks
Jessica Maeda made school history a year ago as the first Mountainside girls' swimmer to ever qualify for the Class 6A state championship meet.
Then, the now-junior was the only Maverick to suit up at the state meet but if things go accordingly this season, Maeda won't be the only Mountainside skull cap skimming through the Mt. Hood Community College pool.
With an inaugural fully equipped senior class, on-the-rise underclassmen, Maeda inching closer to state championship greatness and increasing participation numbers, Mountainside hopes to move up the Metro League ranks.
"We expect to compete for the Metro League title," Mountainside head coach Dustin King said. "This will be our first year with all four classes (freshmen through senior). We have been competitive in the past (the boys placed fourth and the irls placed fifth last year (at the district meet), so my expectations are a bit higher this year."
Maeda is a multi-event, uber-competitive talent who took second in state in the 100-yard breaststroke and fourth in the 200-yard individual medley. If not for Aloha legend Kaitlyn Dobler's presence in the 100 breast, Maeda would have district and state crowns on her resume. She's inching closer to the Warrior great and relishes the opportunity to compete against stars such as Dobler and the cavalcade of standouts from Sunset. Maeda said she feels "really included" in the Maverick program despite the fact she doesn't attend team practices every day. A high-level club swimmer, Maeda divvies up her time between Mountainside and club but makes sure to attend each high school meet.
"(Maeda) can swim, and win, just about any event we put her in," King said.
Joining Maeda on the girls' is sprinter Johannah Iyasele (50 Free/100 Free), Addison Webster (100 Fly, 500m Free) and freshman Allison Dobler who is new to the program this year. Similar to the ultra-versatile Maeda, Allison Dobler can swim just about any event Mountainside puts her in.
For the boys, Carson Yoerger is one of the top district entrants in the 100 breaststroke and is part of the 400 free relay.
"(Yoerger)is a talented swimmer, but what I like most about him, and what I wish all my swimmers would emulate, is his approach to races," King said. "He is a meticulous planner, which makes his execution of plans seem effortless. In addition to that, he has an infectiously positive attitude. That combination of positivity and planning is invaluable to anyone, in any endeavor, and should be celebrated."
Andrew Lee will work to improve his times in the 50 freestyle and 200 I.M. this year, among other events. Lee and Yoerger just missed the 6A state cut a year ago. King is excited to see what newcomers Lucas Chua (100 butterfly) and Conner Fery (100 breaststroke) can do in their varsity debuts.
King believes all eight aforementioned Mavericks have the potential to punch tickets to the state meet. Maeda qualified for state as a freshman as well. She'll be in hot pursuit of Dobler and Sunset's stars as the season goes along. Mountainside takes on Aloha on Dec. 19 and Sunset on Feb. 6. The Metro district championship meet is Saturday, February 6 at 3 p.m. at Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation Center.
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