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Wildcats to compete in Northwest Oregon Conference meet Feb. 14-15 at Parkrose

COURTESY PHOTO: GREG ARTMAN - Wilsonville swimmers from left, Abby Maoz, Kayla Leon-Guerrero, Riley Lawler and Jensen Lorio are back after winning the 200 medley and 400 free relays at the NWOC district meet last season.

Riley Lawler won all four of her events at the NWOC district meet last season.

But the then Wilsonville freshman did not get to swim in finals after inclement weather shortened district meets all over the state.

"I'm excited to see what finals are like," Lawler said. "I'm really excited for districts because the team is so much bigger this year. I'm really excited to spend time with such a great team and have fun at districts doing the best we can."

This year's NWOC district meet is scheduled for Feb. 14-15 at Parkrose High School.

Led by Lawler and junior Abby Maoz, the reigning co-NWOC girl swimmers of the year, the Wildcats went a perfect 7-0 in duals this year, their last victory coming Jan. 4 against Hillsboro and Putnam.

"It was a really good end to the season," Wilsonville coach Deb Mandeville said.

Lawler, Maoz, Kayla Leon-Guerrero and Caitlyn Jew won the 200-yard medley relay in 2 minutes, 3.62 seconds.

Jew, a newcomer to the team this year, also won the 100 backstroke in 1:08.35

"A lot of the kids have really stepped up and improved this year," Mandeville said. "I'm expecting to get more to finals at districts and we'll see how it goes. I think we're covering most of the events with a stronger person this year."

Lawler won the 200 free at Hillsboro in 2:12.16 and the 500 free in 5:54.04.

"I get into a pace and I'm able to hold it for the whole race," Lawler said. "The distance races are more my fit."

Maoz finished first in the 200 IM in 2:17.82 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:09.45.

Leon-Guerrero won the 100 free in 1:02.31 and took second in the 50 free in 27.90.

Leon-Guerrero, Maoz, Jew and Jensen Lorio also won the 400 free relay in 4:07.02.

"Potentially, we could probably win six events," Mandeville said of the district meet. "We have the potential to do that."

Wilsonville's boys have also had a strong season, finishing 4-3 in league duals.

"We do have some strong boys," Mandeville said. "We just don't have a superstar like Abby to anchor everything."

At Hillsboro, Cade Butterworth, George Heilig, Jay Thomas and Vincent Nguyen won the 200 free relay in 1:45.61 and the 400 relay in 3:57.54.

Individually, Butterworth won the 50 free in 25.47. Heilig won the 100 butterfly in 1:01.87 and Thomas finished first in the 100 free in 1:00.06. Theo Buchwald won the 200 free in 2:23.97.

Heilig and Buchwald, both elite water polo players, are new this year to Wilsonville's swim team.

"They have really added some depth to the team," Mandeville said. "They have improved tremendously."

Derek Wiley
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