Last season, the Crescent Valley girls swimming team captured its first state title in nearly a decade and won a number of individual state titles to cap off a standout year.
Even with all that success with the state level, the Raiders’ seniors still felt that they had unfinished business entering this season. Because even though last year ended with a state crown, CV missed out on winning the district title the week before.
With plenty of returners from last year’s group, the Raiders left nothing to chance this time around. CV won the Mid-Willamette Conference team title in dominant fashion Saturday at the Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis, topping runner-up Silverton 470 to 403.
“We definitely wanted to be up there,” CV senior Paula Lomonaco said. “Last year we kind of broke our streak when West Albany beat us, so we were definitely hungry for that first spot.”
The Raiders took control of the meet early by winning the first two individual events and they never slowed down from that point. Lomonaco and Francesca Criscione each won two individual titles at last year’s state meet, and the senior duo came up big again for CV on Saturday by scoring 40 points apiece and helping out in the relays.
Lomonaco started the day by winning the 200 yard freestyle in 1 minute, 57.36 seconds and later went on to win the 100 freestyle in 54.48 seconds. This season, Lomonaco has stepped into a leadership role for CV and wanted to help the Raiders’ younger swimmers find ways to thrive in a big-meet scenario. In addition to her individual titles, she swam the anchor leg of their title-winning 400 relay team Saturday.
“I really wanted to let the new swimmers see what it’s all about to have that ambition at districts,” Lomonaco said. “And how to push yourself to your max… With all the training we do, we were very physically prepared. It’s just a mental game at that point.”
Criscione, who also swam two relay legs, won Saturday’s 200 yard individual medley in 2:07.80 and won the 100 butterfly in 58.62.
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“It’s so good to get the title that I felt we deserved last year as well,” Criscione said.
Last season, Criscione doubled in the 100 butterfly and 500 freestyle at state in order to help out where the team needed her. On Saturday, she put her versatility on display and picked up substantial personal-best times in both of her races.
“(Winning districts) was a really big priority and I’m just really proud of our team for accomplishing it,” Criscione said.
CV freshman Vivi Criscione won the 500 freestyle and was second in the 100 breaststroke. The Raiders also got 30 points from junior Lauren Cordier (third in the 200 IM, fifth in the 500 freestyle) while Nova Evans was third in the breaststroke and sixth in the 200 freestyle. Freshman duo MacKenzie Baker and Viola Teglassy scored 28 points each, and junior Jordan Drill scored 27.
The West Albany girls placed third with 314 points and had several swimmers qualify for state as individuals
Senior Taylor Kelly scored 34 points and took second in both the 50 and 100 freestyle events, while Allie Bates added 33 points and took second in the 200 freestyle and third in the 500 freestyle.
Lebanon finished fourth as a team with 205 points and got 29 points from senior Elizabeth Beck, who took fourth in the 500 freestyle and fifth in the 200 freestyle.
South Albany senior Chiara Roskelley led the RedHawks with 23 points thanks to a fifth-place finish in the 100 butterfly, and Corvallis sophomore Laci Bernosky led the Spartans with 12 points.
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