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by: DAN BROOD - TALENTED -- Sherwood senior Emily Stevens placed in both the butterfly and backstroke at state last year. SHERWOOD — More of the same.

And, for the Sherwood High swim teams, that’s a good thing.

The Bowmen squads had a lot of success last year, and the teams boast plenty of potential again this year.

Last year, the Sherwood girls team won the Northwest Oregon Conference district meet title and the Lady Bowmen went on to take second place at the Class 5A state championships. Sherwood lost some strong girls from last year’s squad, but the team looks to be strong again this year.

“We have a good mix of veterans and newcomers that will help the team to rebuild from its successes over the past couple of years,” second-year Sherwood coach Robbert van Andel said.

The Lady Bowmen return a pair of key returnees from last year’s state runner-up team in sophomore Julia Bush and senior Emily Stevens.

Last year, Bush won the state championship in the 100-yard freestyle event and she was second in the 200 freestyle. This season, Bush has already bettered the school record in the 500 freestyle.

Stevens, who has committed to swim at the collegiate level at University of Wyoming, also swam at the state last year, placing fourth in the 100 backstroke and fifth in the 100 butterfly.

Senior returnee Kaela DeKar will be swimming in the butterfly and breaststroke events. She’s batting health issues, but should be a key factor in the relays by the time the district meet arrives. Senior returnee Moriah Scleif provides the team with some versatility.

“She’s one of my go-to swimmers who can swim all four strokes well,” van Andel said.

Sophomore returnee Amy McAravey will swim in the backstroke and individual medley.

“She’s strong in any event she swims,” van Andel said. “She’ll be a key member of our relays.”

Other returnees include junior Sammy Stewart (breaststroke, freestyle, butterfly), senior Jamie Steers (distance freestyle), junior Sabrina Sorrell (sprint freestyle), senior Taylor Matthews (sprint freestyle) and senior Courtney Budge (sprint freestyles).

Among the newcomers for the Sherwood girls will be junior Hannah Christensen (sprint freestyles, relays), freshman Natalie Steers (distance freestyle), freshman Hannah Engelman (all events), freshman Megan McCourt (breaststroke, freestyle), junior Iesha Floor (breaststroke, freestyle).

The Sherwood boys, who placed third in the team standings at last year’s NWOC district meet, are also looking for big things this season.

“The boys look very strong this year,” van Andel said. “They are very deep in the breaststroke and have a strong swimmer in each of the four strokes making for a fast medley relay and a deep sprinting pool making for fast free relays.”

Sherwood junior Ryan Ax returns after qualifying for state last year in the 50 freestyle.

“He’s already swimming times very close to his times from district in both the 50 and 100 free,” van Andel said.

Senior returnee Steven Dowdle qualified for state in the 200 individual medley last year. He’ll be swimming in that event and the butterfly this year.

The Sherwood boys have another key returnee in senior Tanner Varin. He’ll be making the switch from distance freestyle to the backstroke this year.

Other returnees for the Sherwood boys include sophomore James Heinlein (sprint freestyles, backstroke, relays), junior Hao Tan (butterfly, sprint freestyles, breaststroke, relays), sophomore Michael Diegel (distance freestyle), sophomore Joe Bassich (distance freestyle), junior Chris Kuiper (sprint freestyles, breaststroke), sophomore Dante Perone (breaststroke), sophomore Josh Cichoski (butterfly, freestyle) and junior Preston Fulton (sprint freestyles).

Among the key newcomers to the team are freshmen Carter Howard (distance freestyle, breaststroke) and Nick Beeks (sprint freestyles, breaststroke).

Freshman Ryan Lord (breaststroke) also joins the squad.

The Sherwood squads were scheduled to swim against Milwaukie Wednesday in a league meet at the North Clackamas Aquatic Park. Results of that meet weren't available when The Times went to press.

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