Bintz in the zone

Camas swimmer returns after shoulder surgery

Corinne Bintz is back in her comfort zone. The swimming pool is her sanctuary.

“Being back on this platform makes me more confident,” Bintz said. “It’s a great place to bring out your competitiveness and just thrive.”

It has been a year since the Camas High School senior had surgery to repair a torn labrum in her shoulder. Having only been in the water for four months, she is trying to make up for lost time.

“I dislocated my shoulder during a relay. I pretty much finished that race with one arm,” Bintz said. “You can’t go to practice and do the things you did before. You understand the times are going to be slower because I’ve been out for so long. But, I’m not accepting those times because I know I can go faster.”

Bintz is starting to see glimpses of her old self. On Wednesday, she gained second place in the 200-meter individual medley with one of her best times of 2 minutes, 44.07 seconds.

“It’s encouraging when I get similar or faster times,” she said. “Those kinds of things make it easier.”

Bintz also earned second place in the 100 breaststroke (1:24.24). Bintz, Siobhan Choong, Hannah Clayton and Nicole Lobkov won the 200 freestyle relay (2:06.73). Clayton, Jessica Bretz, Choong and Bintz grabbed third place in the 400 freestyle relay (4:40.59).

“She’s coming back strong. The question is, do we have enough time to get her back up for one last push at districts?” said head coach Mike Bemis. “She’s always had the drive, and has been able to push herself. What’s lacking is the weeks left to put it all together. If she makes it [to state], it will be quite a season for her.”

Camas defeated Evergreen 187-44, but lost to Mountain View 164-114, Wednesday, at LaCamas Swim & Sport.

“We did a good job. There were a lot of close races,” Bintz said. “I think if we all put in that extra effort, and everybody goes up one or two places, we can compete with Mountain View at districts.”

Choong won the 100 breaststroke (1:23.29) and finished in second place in the 50 freestyle (30.76). Clayton claimed second place in the 100 butterfly (1:13.61) and the 100 backstroke (1:19.75). Bretz took second in the 400 freestyle (5:40.96) and third in the 200 individual medley (3:02.75). Jessica Rouske earned second in the 100 freestyle (1:14.25).

Mountain View secured first and second place in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay races to put the meet out of reach of Camas.

“They were a little bit stronger than I thought. That’s why we swim these meets, to figure out the best line up for districts,” Bemis said. “How well we do at districts is determined by how many girls we can get into that top 12. That’s always been our strength. We’ll play that game again and see if it works out for us.”

Endurance will be tested this week. The Papermakers battle Columbia River and Hudson’s Bay today, at Propstra Pool; host Union and Heritage Wednesday, at LaCamas Swim & Sport; and compete in the Southwest Washington Invitational Saturday, at Mark Morris High School.

“Race for each other, not for yourself. It’s easier to be motivated when you’re responsible for someone else’s success,” Bintz said. “Every race matters. Remember that it takes a team effort to win these big meets.”