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West High finishes historic season as runner-up after winning six state events

Published: Nov. 14, 2020 at 9:38 PM CST
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MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (KCRG) - In a season filled with so much adversity, the West High/Liberty swim team came together on Saturday to win six state events and finish in second place as a team, setting a new program best.

Senior Aurora Roghair started things off for the Trojans, winning the 200 freestyle for the second consecutive year. Roghair edged out Waukee’s Jessi Wigham for a final time of 1:47.30.

Two events later, junior Scarlet Martin decided she wanted to replicate what Roghair had already done earlier in the afternoon. As the defending champion, Martin dove into the 100 Butterfly as a overwhelming favorite and didn’t disappoint, breaking her own state record with a time of 53.01 (automatically qualifying her as an All-American).

Roghair was ready for more after watching Martin break a state record once her best event, the 500 freestyle came around. Roghair was prepared for another battle with Wigham but on Saturday Roghair found another gear. The Stanford commit posted her last two 50 yard splits under 28 seconds for a final time of 4:45.78, a new state record by nearly two seconds.

“I definitely wanted to swim my own race," Roghair said. “I knew that they were really good competition so I didn’t want to let anything get in my head and try to focus on my lane,”

With Roghair finished with her individual events, it was time for Martin to step into the spotlight once more in the 100 Backstroke. In the preliminary round on Friday, Martin broke the state record with a time of 54.17 and followed up on Saturday by breaking her own record, swimming .03 faster for a 54.14 final time.

You have to go way back in 1983 for the last time that the West High program won a state title in a relay, so naturally that was the next thing for the 2020 squad to accomplish. Ella Hostetler, Jade Roghair, Aurora Roghair and Scarlet Martin teamed up to win the 200 free relay, edging out Ames by .4 seconds with a final time of 1:34.34.

In the final event, the 400 free relay, the Trojans once again exceeded expectations. Coming in with a seed time of 3:30.84, West High was a comfortable favorite as the next best time was three seconds behind. Jade Roghair, Olivia Taeger, Aurora Roghair and Scarlet Martin finished the season in style, setting a new state record in the event with a time of 3:23.84, nearly seven seconds lower than their seed time.

“I was amazed, I really was," Martin said afterwards."I know we all just got in there and swam our fastest and it turned out very well,"

Thanks to the six event championships, the Trojans finished with 277.5 points to finish in second place overall, the program’s highest finish in history. Ames won the team championship with 303 points.

“Its all a testament to their hard work and you know how close they are as a team and how they support each other," said West head coach Byron Butler. “It means a lot, the goal was top-three this year and it was kinda of just out in the ether for awhile and things started to gel together and they just raced lights out,”

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