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Wilsonville junior Abby Maoz won the 200 IM, 100 breaststroke at Parkrose High School

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Wilsonville junior Abby Maoz won the 100-yard breaststroke Saturday at Parkrose.

PORTLAND — Abby Maoz did not feel like she was swimming fast.

The clock at Parkrose High School showed otherwise, as the Wilsonville junior finished the 100-yard breastroke in 1 minute, 3.41 seconds Saturday at the NWOC Championship meet, besting her Class 5A state record time of 1:03.66.

"This morning I was warming up and I felt terrible," Maoz said. "I didn't cool down yesterday. I'm sore. My (Tigard Tualatin Swim Club) coach (Brad Robbins) always says you don't have to feel good to go fast. It felt so smooth. I didn't think I was going that fast. I know I can go faster."

The second-place girl did not touch the wall until nearly 13 seconds later.

"I've been trying to focus on my own race more and focus on what I need to do and not worry about everyone else," said Maoz, who also had not tapered, which she will do before this weekend's state meet at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center in Beaverton.

"I just want to go as fast as I can," Maoz said. "I don't really set goals with my swimming. I just go out and do my best and see what happens."

Maoz set the state record as a freshman and then repeated as the Class 5A breaststroke champion last year, finishing in 1:04.29.

"I'm so excited for state this year," Maoz said. "I just can't wait. It's going to be so fun."

Maoz will again swim four events at the state meet after also winning the 200 IM in 2:08.18.

Maoz, Caitlyn Jew (back), Jensen Lorio (fly) and Kayla Leon-Guerrero (free) opened the district meet by winning the 200 medley relay in 1:55.72, an improvement of 4.11 seconds.

"We dropped so much time," Maoz said. "I'm so proud of everyone. Everyone in our relay worked so hard this season, and it's really showing. I'm really confident about our relays at state this year. I think we're going to do really good."

Jew and Leon-Guerrero also qualified for state in individual events.

Jew won the 100 backstroke in 1:06.14 and received a wildcard slot in the IM, where she placed fourth in 2:26.53.

"That was really fun," said Jew of her first district tournament. "I really enjoyed that. It's a lot more fun than club for me."

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Wilsonville senior Kayla Leon-Guerrero won the 50 free Saturday at Parkrose.

Swimming in her final district meet, Leon-Guerrero won the 50 free in 26.31.

"I got really excited," said Leon-Guerrero, who finished fourth in prelims. "Everyone was there to support me and pump me up. I really wanted to get that state cut."

Not even an asthma attack midway through the 200 free could keep Wilsonville sophomore Riley Lawler from qualifying for state.

"It was really hard just getting through that one," said Lawler, who placed second in 2:06.16, but qualified for state as a wildcard. "I just got an inhaler because it's been hard to breathe recently. It was really hard because I couldn't breathe during the middle of the race. It was just frustrating because I felt ready to race and my body just gave out on me."

Lawler was able to regroup and win the 500 free in 5:36.07.

"I just cooled down in between and let my body rest," Lawler said. "Thankfully, it got better before the 500. It was more about getting through it and hoping my body would keep up with me. I'm hoping for a PR next weekend."

Lawler, Maoz, Leon-Guerrero and Jew then won the 400 free relay in 4:02.17.

As a team, the Wildcats finished second, only two points behind NWOC girls champion La Salle Prep.

"I'm really pumped this year," Leon-Guerrero said. "We have a great group. I really love my teammates. It's been a lot of fun this year."

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Wilsonville freshman George Heilig finished sixth in the 100 backstroke.

While no Wilsonville boys qualified for state, senior Vincent Nguyen took fifth in both the 200 free in 2:04.94 and the 500 free in 5:43.46.

Jay Thomas placed sixth in the 50 free in 25.17 and seventh in the 100 free in 55.99. George Heilig finished fifth in the 100 fly in 1:01 and sixth in the 100 back in 105.70.

The Wildcats 400 free relay (Heilig, Cade Butterworth, Thomas and Nguyen) placed second in 3:46.16.

Derek Wiley
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