The NWOC meet will be held this week at Parkrose

PARKROSE — The Sherwood High School swim teams are ready to go.

And they’ll be looking to make plenty of noise and earn plenty of state-meet bids when they compete at the Northwest Oregon Conference district championships, which will be held Friday and Saturday at the Parkrose Aquatic Center.

Action at the district meet begins Friday at 3:30 p.m. Saturday’s championship finals are also slated to begin at 3:30 p.m.

Each event winner at the district meet, as well as those swimmers and relay teams that earn wild-card bids, advance to compete at the Class 5A State Championships, which will be held Feb. 15-16 at Mt. Hood Community College.

The Sherwood boys will be looking to earn their second league title of the season at the upcoming district meet. The Bowmen wrapped up the NWOC dual meet championship by scoring a 98-72 win over St. Helens in a league dual meet held last Thursday at St. Helens.

With that victory, the Sherwood boys finished the regular season with a perfect 7-0 record. The Bowmen should be in the hunt for the district meet championship.

“Our boys team will be in a tight race for first with Liberty and St. Helens,” Sherwood coach Robbert van Andel said.

Among the top competitors for the Sherwood boys at district will be junior Ryan Ax, who will compete in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle events.

“It’s going to be a very good battle for the top three at the meet in both events,” van Andel said.

Freshman Carter Howard will swim in the 200 and 500 freestyle races.

“He should finish in the top three in both events,” van Andel said. “He’s young and has some things to learn about racing. If he can put it together this weekend, he’ll swim again at state.”

Junior Hao Tan will be competing in the 100 butterfly and the 100 breaststroke. Senior Steven Dowdle, who qualified for state in the 200 individual medley last year, will swim in that event again this year, as well as in the 100 butterfly.

The Sherwood boys should also be strong in the relays at district, with sophomore James Heinlein, senior Tanner Varin, Tan and Ax competing.

Howard had a pair of wins for the Bowmen in the victory at St. Helens. He triumphed in the 200 freestyle in a time of 2 minutes, 0.07 seconds and he had a winning time of 1:12.30 in the 100 breaststroke.

The Sherwood girls will be led at the district meet by sophomore Julia Bush and senior Emily Stevens. Bush, the defending district and state champion in the 100 freestyle, will be swimming that event and the 200 at district.

“She should have no problem advancing to the state championships,” van Andel said.

Stevens will compete in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke at district.

“She also should have no problem advancing to state,” van Andel said.

The Sherwood girls fell 91-76 to St. Helens in last week’s NWOC dual meet finale. The Lady Bowmen finished the league season with a 5-2 record. St. Helens finished at 6-1.

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