More than 70 swimmers are with the program this year

by: VERN UYETAKE - Edward Kang placed in the top-10 at state in multiple events last year and returns to the Lakers this season on a team that hopes to challenge for a league title.  Lake Oswego's swim teams are primed for another terrific season with more than 70 athletes out for the squad this year.

The Lakers are a bit younger than they have been in years past and the Three Rivers League is as strong as ever but both the boys and girls teams figure to be major factors.

“It's hard to tell how the season will go quite yet but we will be very deep in most events,” coach Susan Branam said.

The team has been focusing on conditioning early in the season and Branam is pleased with how hard the squad has been practicing and how well it gets along as a unit.

The Laker boys figure to be in the mix as one of the top teams in the league.

Lake Oswego returns Edward Kang who helped the Lakers' medley relay team place at state last year and who finished in the top-10 individually in the butterfly and backstroke.

Kang will be a big point-scorer for the Lakers this year along with water polo standout Marco Wolmarans, one of the league's top sprinters.

Logan Kojiro and Ryan Sklar should also give the team depth in multiple events.

“I think the league title will be tight for the boys. We could be right there,” Branam said.

For the girls, Yifan Mao is back after helping three relay teams place at state last year and taking eighth place in the 50 freestyle individually.

Abby Lyons also returns and is one of the squad's most experienced swimmers. Lyons scored in the butterfly and breaststroke at state last year and was also a key relay contributor.

Lauren Wagner returns as well with experience at the state meet along with Amy Chen.

The Lakers expect to field some very strong relay teams again this year and know they will see some of the state's top competition within their own league as both West Linn and Lakeridge have state title aspirations.

But Lake Oswego should be a very strong dual meet team for both the boys and girls, racking up plenty of points by filling up events with strong swimmers.

“We have a terrific group of kids and we're looking forward to a great season,” Branam said.

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