Travis Hinz churned through the Osborn Aquatic Center pool and was the first to touch the wall to win the 50 freestyle at the dual meet between Corvallis High and Crescent Valley.

Hinz, a senior at CHS, won the event with a personal record of 25.68 seconds. He also finished third in the 100 and 200 freestyle races.

It was the best meet of Hinz's high school career and also his last.

Later this week he will go in for surgery to correct stress fractures in his back that built up through several years of ultimate disc and swimming.

Hinz was able to compete in three meets as a senior this year after the injuries forced him to sit out for the past year and a half.

"It's nice to be back swimming for this year, especially since it's my senior year," Hinz said.

He was overjoyed with his winning time in the 50 free.

"That was a definite personal best over all of my years of swimming and so that was really nice," he said. "I came into this season hoping to get (personal records) in each of my events, especially I wanted to get under 26 seconds in my 50 and under a minute in my 100 freestyle and I've been able to do that each meet."

Hinz was able to swim at a high level despite quite a bit of pain.

He was assured by his physician that swimming would not worsen the problem.

"It constantly hurts but right now the pain's worth it for being able to swim my last high school meet," Hinz said.

Hinz helped the CHS boys to a 194-90 win over the Raiders. The Spartans, who took first in all events, are looking at another run to the state meet after finishing seventh last season.

Noah Vial did not return for his senior year, but the Spartans have plenty of depth and added Dani Valdes to the fold.

Valdes, a junior, has been swimming for the Corvallis Aquatic Team and friends at CHS convinced him to join the Spartans.

He's been at CHS for two years. He lived in Canada and then Mexico before his family moved to Corvallis.

He won the 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle and was a part of the winning 200 medley relay team.

"My favorite event is butterfly, any one, and in this case because we only have 100 for high school, it would be the 100 fly. But on the CAT it's the 200 fly," Valdes said.

"Just the fact that it's so hard for some people to do and I have this natural talent to be so good at it. I just have this connection with it, I like it. It's a fun stroke. It separates you from the other people."

Valdes said the Spartans are good enough to make some noise at state this season.

"We have a lot of people who have a lot of potential," he said. "We have a good chance at state this year."

The boys 500 freestyle came down to the wire between CHS freshman Liam Leeming and senior teammate Aidan Smit. It looked like a tie to the naked eye with Leeming winning with a 5:10.82 and Smit touching in 5:10.84.

Bryce Atha won the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM and Dylan Dhakhwa won the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke for the Spartans.

The Crescent Valley girls took a 175-109 win against Corvallis. The lone CHS winner was Anna Edwards in the 100 breaststroke.

The Raiders finished second at state last season and are looking to take one step up this year.

Paula Lomonaco won the 50 and 100 freestyle and was part of both winning relay teams. She went to state last season as a freshman, along with several teammates, including Lindsey Soule, who won the 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke and was part of the 200 medley relay.

"Last year we got second, so hopefully this year we can make it to the top and get first," Lomonaco said. "I think it's going to be hard but I think we have a solid chance to do that."

That experience gained at state should help Lomonaco through her second season with the Raiders.

"It's pretty big. There's a lot of fast swimmers that you don't really swim dual meets with them or districts, so the competition's pretty high," she said. "Yeah, I got the experience of a lot of competitive people and what it feels to be in a higher competitive state."

CV senior Reina Watkins said the Raiders want that championship trophy.

"It was all around a really good experience but we're always shooting to win," Watkins said. "We have a goal and we want to get up on that podium again, for sure."

Watkins, who won the 200 IM and 100 butterfly, said there's always room for improvement.

She wants to see more out of herself and the team.

"I should be pushing myself a lot more than what I have been and that's one of the places I need to improve," she said. "I need to improve my kicking and maintaining my speed and all that other stuff."

Watkins said the Raiders have been solid but can get better in and out of the pool.

That includes improving their attitude toward the sport and teamwork.

"We're trying to do that," she said. "We have a thing where we have like big sister, little sister and we help each other understand how swim meets work and we encourage each other that way."

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