As always, the Lakeridge swim team has set some lofty goals for itself this season.
'We would certainly like to win the district title with both the boys and the girls team,' said Justin Lindsey who coaches the Pacers along with Robert Wilson.
The Pacer girls enter the year as defending district champions while the boys finished a close second last year to rival Lake Oswego.
But, as Lindsey points out, 'the guys are just as strong this year if not stronger.'
The Pacer boys will be led by senior captain Joey Bora who is one of the team's top freestylers. Bora is strong at the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle and, in the team's first dual meet against Oregon City, was even used in the 500.
Lakeridge also expects big things from sophomore Andrew Heymann.
'He's been working his tail off. He's definitely someone to look out for,' Lindsey said.
Heymann is strong in all four strokes but is probably best in the breaststroke. Against the Pioneers he swam a 2:02.60 in the 200 individual medley which is already near a state qualifying time.
Keahi Horowitz is also returning and, in his first meet, he swam near his lifetime best. Horowitz is best in the backstroke but is also fairly versatile.
Lakeridge had some more terrific early swims against the Pioneers, a team that is one of the most improved in league this year.
Horowitz won the 200 freestyle and took second in the backstroke. Along with winning the I.M., Heymann easily captured the 100 butterfly.
Corey Ferris and Adam Froelich helped Lakeridge take first and second in the 100 freestyle while Bora, despite it being far from his best event, easily won the 500 freestyle.
Bora would also turn in a dominant swim in the 100 breaststroke.
For the girls, the team appears ready and able to defend its district crown from last season with a strong core of swimmers.
Brittany Anderson is a team captain and strong in both the I.M. and the breaststroke.
'She's such a positive force and we're very happy to have her,' Lindsey said.
Also returning is distance specialist Emily Lightcap. Lightcap has finished in the top-six in the 500 freestyle at state for the past two seasons and has finished in the top 12 in the 200.
'She definitely has the potential to improve on that. She has the desire and the discipline,' Lindsey said.
Other key contributors will be freshman Allison Heymann who can swim nearly any event but is strongest in the backstroke and the sprint freestyle events.
Emma Goehler also returns and will likely specialize in the middle-distance freestyle events.
'Emma is a very hard worker. She gives it her all,' Lindsey said.
In the team's first dual meet, Oregon City gave the Pacer girls all they could handle and Lakeridge came away with a narrow 10-point victory.
Goehler and Heymann took first and second in the 200 freestyle while Anderson dominated the 200 I.M.
The Pacers also finished one-two in the 50 freestyle with Cathy Wang winning and Angela Bora taking second.
Lexi Burris and Goehler took first and second in the 100 freestyle while Heymann won the 100 backstroke by less than a second. Anderson then picked up her second individual win of the meet by easily capturing the 100 breaststroke.
As always, Lake Oswego and Lakeridge are expected to battle tooth and nail throughout the season even though the Lakers have a smaller team and the Pacers hope to get as many individuals through to state as possible.
'We'll just have to see how it all pans out. It's a slightly smaller group this year but we have some really great kids,' Lindsey said.