Travis Martinez knows how to swim smart and how to win. He did both Saturday as the only double winner at the Section VI Boys Swimming and Diving Championships at Fredonia State.
The Clarence senior turned in impressive swims in winning the 100- and 200-yard freestyles for the second year in a row. His time in the 100 was a career-best 47.56 seconds, and he swam a season-best 1:45.00 in the 200. Martinez was one of just two 2005 winners to successfully defend their titles.
Martinez has won seven sectional patches, having been on two winning relays as a sophomore and winning the 500 free as a freshman. He was one of 46 swimmers from 21 schools who qualified for this week's New York State Championships at the Erie Community College Burt Flickinger Center.
"The 100 was a better swim, but the 200 showed me a lot," said Martinez, who has the fastest times in Western New York in six events. "The 100 felt a lot smoother. It felt faster. It felt like I was more in control. In the 200, I went out really fast and I felt like people were gaining on me the whole way."
The title of fastest swimmer in Section VI went to senior Eric Tafelski of Depew, winner of the 50 free. Tafelski used a tight streamline under water and a hard kick off the wall to swim a school-record 21.91. He became the first swimmer from Depew to win a Section VI title.
In one of the more exciting races of the night, Amherst senior Steve Rois came back in the final 100 to win the 500 free in a career-best 4:55.17.
"That's part of my training technique," said Rois. "Some swimmers take it out really fast in the first 100 or 200 yards, and then hang on in the end. I kind of go for the opposite approach."
Sophomore Mike Lin of Williamsville North, last year's winner of the 200, qualified in the 100, 200 and one relay.
North won two relays with juniors Matt Krupp and Chris Septula. The Spartans swam a season-best 1:41.00 to win the 200 medley relay. In the 400 free relay, North knocked three seconds off its Western New York-leading time, touching in 3:16.51.
In the 200 individual medley, sophomore Mike Dansa of Orchard Park, the top seed after prelims, delivered in the finals with a career-best 2:01.32.
Jeff Moessinger of Iroquois kept the family tradition alive in winning the 100 butterfly in a career-best 53.41. His older brother, Aaron, a swimmer at the University at Buffalo, won the sectional title in 2003.
A pair of freshmen finished 1-2 in the backstroke. Matthew Geiger of Williamsville North won in 55.45 while Matt Schwippert of Iroquois was close behind in 55.78.
The top breaststroker this year is junior Andy Gorcica of Eden, who came out of lane two to win in 1:02.87, knocking almost one second off his prelim time.
The winner of the diving was no surprise as junior Ian O'Rourke of Grand Island made it four wins in a row in Friday night's competition in Niagara Falls.
O'Rourke's victory on the 1-meter board was convincing. He scored 560.95 to win by an 89-point margin. O'Rourke entered the weekend with the No. 1 six-dive score in the state at 333.70.
He said he saved the toughest of his 11 dives for last -- an inward 2 1/2 summersault in the tuck position. With a 3.0 degree of difficulty, he said he racked up 65 points.
"Basically, you just kind of go for it and be aggressive," O'Rourke said. "Usually, I'm making sure I'm spotting the water and then lining up for that perfect entry. It's a dive I just learned this year."