Lakeridge boys believe they can defend TRL swim titles
The Lakeridge boys swim team was great in the Three Rivers League last year, great again at district and pretty darned good at state, too.
And the Pacers don't see any reason they can't be great again in 2018.
"As a team, the Pacer boys should win this league," said Lakeridge coach Derek Abbott, whose team won the 2017 regular season and district titles, then finished 10th at state. "I feel with our depth, team culture and veteran (leadership), this squad is like a machine and they just grind it out in even the toughest of situations."
This year's team will be led by four returning district finalists and another handful of returning district performers, that group highlighted by senior Matt McComish (he'll swim the 100-yard butterfly, 100 freestyle and 200 individual medley), sophomore Jay Heymann (200 Free, 500 free, 100 free, 200 IM) and senior captain Samir Ahmadyar (200 free, 500 free, 200 IM, 100 backstroke).
McComish is the reigning district champ in the 100 free (he also finished fifth at state) and finished fourth in the TRL 50 free, Heymann was fourth in both the district 200 free and 500 free, and Ahmadyar is back after taking fifth in the 500 free and seventh in the 200 free.
"He is by far our best male swimmer," Abbott said. "He will be competing in many events because he is good at them all. Matty is the guy who just wants to see the team win, so he will swim any stroke, any time, to be sure that Lakeridge can have the advantage in a meet. He is a great leader for the team."
Abbott added that Heymann uses "his technique to carry him through (and) has a lot of energy," while Ahmadyar "is another valuable leader that helps to maintain our tight team atmosphere."
Also back with district finals experience is senior Terran Walker (50 free, 100 free), while senior captain Harrison Schaffer (100 free, 100 fly), junior Grant Lautze (200 free, 100 free, 100 butterfly), sophomore Andy James (100 breaststroke), freshman Alex Macros (100 butterfly, 100 breaststroke, 200 IM) and sophomores Alex Moreau (100 butterfly, 200 free) and Brody Veater (50 free, 100 free) will also play important roles.
"Harrison is just a great team motivator and leader," Abbott said. "His biggest asset is leading by example in the pool and in the weight room. Harrison is the glue to the team, constantly pushing us to the next level."
Together, Abbott believes that group can get it done in the TRL race this season.
"There is a lot of motivation to repeat (last year's) performance," Abbott said. "I believe that we can once again find ourselves atop the TRL."