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Abby Maoz and Riley Lawler, NWOC co-swimmers of the year, lead Wildcats into 2019-20 season

COURTESY PHOTO: GREG ARTMAN - Abby Maoz, the reigning Class 5A state champion in the breaststroke, is back for her junior year.

Wilsonville's girls swim team finished seventh in Class 5A last season.

With all four girls who competed at the 2019 state meet returning, as well as the addition of a promising freshman, the Wildcats hope to climb up the team rankings.

"I'm already seeing improvements over last year from all of the kids, so we should have a really good season," Wilsonville coach Deb Mandeville said. "We didn't lose a whole lot of talent."

The Wildcats again will be led by Abby Maoz, a junior who has committed to Louisiana State University and is the 5A state record-holder in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Maoz won the 100 breaststroke and finished second in the 100 butterfly last season.

"She is a very focused, driven swimmer, never misses a practice, is very coachable," Mandeville said. "I'm not sure if we're going to play around with her events. She'll probably always do the breaststroke, but we may do something different, we've done something different with her other event every year so far."

Riley Lawler returns for her sophomore year after finishing sixth in the 500 free last season as a freshman.

Lawler and Maoz shared the NWOC swimmer of the year honor last season after both won two individual events and were on two winning relays at the district meet.

Also on those relays, 200 medley and 400 free, were Kayla Leon-Guerrero and Jensen Lorio, who are both back for their senior year.

"Riley is a very bubbly personality and fits well with the team," Mandeville said. "The four girls on that relay team are a very cohesive group."

The Wildcats finished sixth in the 200 medley relay at the 2019 state meet.

At the district meet, Leon-Guerrero placed second in the 50 free and third in the 100 free. Lorio took second in the 100 fly.

Mandeville expects freshman Caitlyn Jew to give the girls team a boost. Sophomore Bailey Waddell (50 and 100 free) and junior Ava Stenstrom (100 free and 100 back) also return after scoring at the district meet last season.

Wilsonville's boys team will be led by seniors Jared McAravey and Vincent Nguyen and junior Cade Butterworth.

Last season, the three swam on the Wildcats 200 free relay, which placed fourth at districts, and the 200 medley relay, which finished sixth. Individually, Nguyen also took fourth in the 100 free and fifth in the 200 free. Butterworth finished seventh in the 50 free and eighth in the 100 free.

Two freshmen water polo players, George Heilig and Theo Buchwald, have joined the swim team.

Wilsonville opens the 2019-20 season Thursday at Parkrose.

"We have a very diverse team," Mandeville said. "From Abby all the way down to a young man that can't swim yet. We hired an extra coach to put in the water with him for safety. Over the years that I've coached this team I've come to realize that this is a lot of high school students' last chance to learn a life skill, which swimming is, so we make no cuts and we take everybody."

Derek Wiley
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