West Linn boys believe they can compete in 2017-18
The West Linn boys swim team is looking up.
Last year, the Lions were looking up at five Three Rivers League teams that finished ahead of them at district, but for 2017-18, West Linn is looking to move up in the league standings.
"I think we should be pretty competitive," said West Linn coach Katie Wilson, whose team sent two individuals and one relay team to the Class 6A state meet last season.
This year's version of the Lions returns both of those individual state qualifiers — juniors Kevin Vu and William Chun — as well as all four members of its state-qualifying relay team and a trio of talented freshmen that should make West Linn tougher to beat this season.
Vu swam to a second-place finish in the TRL 100-yard butterfly last year and also qualified for state in the 50 freestyle after a third-place district finish. Chun, meanwhile, finished second in the TRL 200 individual medley and qualified for state; he also swims the breaststroke and freestyle.
This year, Wilson expects more big things from both swimmers.
Vu "made state in two events last year and he should do that again," Wilson said, adding that Chun would have likely matched Vu's success had he not been disqualified from his other individual event at district last year.
Also back with state relay experience are junior Paul Muessig (freestyle, IM, backstroke) and senior Joseph Campbell (50 and 100 free, butterfly) — they teamed with Vu and Chun to take second in the 200 medley relay. Other experienced returners include sophomore Clay Barbee in the freestyle, breaststroke and butterfly, and senior team captains Griffin Riley and Jack Himmer.
"They've been with me all four years," Wilson said of Riley and Himmer. "They really help me. I can ask them to do anything and they'll do it."
The team's top three freshmen — part of a class of 12 newcomers — are Nathan Rumsey in the freestyle, backstroke and butterfly — "I think he can get to state in two events," Wilson said — Riley Sokol in the 200 and 500 free, and Alec Snyder in the 50 and 100 free and breaststroke.