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Pacer swim teams hope for historic year

Lakeridge has depth and talent and the girls hope to contend for a state title

Lakeridge's swim teams are looking forward to another successful season, armed with large and talented teams that they hope will make waves at districts and state.

The Pacers have close to 60 swimmers out for the team, including an exceptionally large girls squad. Lakeridge figures to have the talent and the depth to contend for the Three Rivers League title and hope the teams can repeat their top-10 showing at state last season.

“The hope for our guys is to compete for the TRL championship and send some guys and a relay or two to state. Our goal for our girls is to win each dual meet, take the TRL championship and compete for a state title. They know that is a tough road, but we have a lot of focused girls,” coach Derek Abbott said.

The girls team returns a ton of talent and state qualifier. Keaton Blovad is back after finishing second in both the 50 and 100 freestyle last year. She will be a top contender in those events as well along with the backstroke and individual medley.

Mara Newman will also be a strong contributor in the backstroke and the butterfly while Katie Manzione returns in the breaststroke and freestyle.

Brynne O'Shea should be a top performer in the backstroke and the 500 freestyle and Sonya Ahmadyar returns to give the pacers depth in the breaststroke in middle freestyle events. Ariana Chin, Skye Buck and Sonja Vaughan should also make a significant impact for Lakeridge this year.

“We have a very balanced and deep girls roster. We expect to place high in each event at each meet,” Abbott said.

For the boys, Liam O'Shea returns as one of the top distance freestylers in the state. C.J. Hansen and Matt McComish should each give the Pacers a boost in the backstroke and freestyle. Harrison Schaffer will be strong in both the freestyle and butterfly. Samir Ahmadyar will specialize in the freestyle and Tilford Li will fill in at the individual medley and butterfly.

Lakeridge has a close-knit team this year and is excited to see the squad make strides throughout the winter.

“We are super excited about this year. The swimmers are really getting along well and are pushing each other every practice. Our focus early in the season is strength building and technique development along with finishing strong with everything we do,” Abbott said.