Martin, Roghair Seeking to Lead West High to New Heights at State Swim Meet

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Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

IOWA CITY – West High has a pair of individuals poised for big-time performances at the state swimming and diving meet this weekend.

While West High standouts Aurora Roghair and Scarlet Martin enter the state meet swimming meet that opens with prelims on Friday at 5 p.m. poised for individual breakthrough performances the duo is hoping that helps the Women of Troy reach new heights in the team race.

“As much as swimming is an individual sport it is very much a team sport too and we really emphasis that here and make sure that everybody is included and we are cheering everybody on,” Martin said. “It’s just a really good environment.”

Martin and Roghair give West High two of the most exciting young swimmers in the state.

The duo headlines a deep West High squad that has its sights set on earning some team hardware on Saturday at the Marshalltown YMCA.

Both swimmers are seeking their signature state meet moments after earning runner-up finishes a year ago while helping West High to a sixth-place team finish.

Strong performances from Roghair and Martin on Saturday could help West High to its first top-five state finish in more than a decade.

“I’m really just looking to improve my times from this season and hopefully placing higher than I did last year and maybe getting a win hopefully,” Martin said. “Our teams goal is to place higher than last year. I think we have a lot more depth this year so we are going in to the meet in a good spot.”

West High enters the state meet that concludes with swimming finals beginning at noon on Saturday fresh off an impressive regular season that featured a third consecutive unbeaten dual season and conference and regional titles.

Now the Women of Troy are trying to cap their strong season with their best state finish in more than a decade.

West High hasn’t finished in the top five at the state meet since placing fourth in 2005.

That could change on Saturday.

Four-time defending champion Ames is the favorite with two-time defending runner-up West Des Moines Dowling the Little Cyclones top challenger.

After that West High joins Waukee and Ankeny in a battle for third.

“I knew we would be near the top and maybe competing for a trophy and I think right now we are seeded to do that,” Butler said. “Right now, the goal is just to improve on our seeds and if we do that everything else takes care of itself.”

Roghair and Martin lead the way for West High.

Martin has the top time in the state this season in both the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly.

Roghair has the top time in the 200 freestyle and enters second in the 500 freestyle behind defending champion Berit Quass of West Des Moines Dowling.

Martin was runner-up to Quass in the 100 fly and was third in the 200 IM last season in her state meet debut.

“It’s a very different environment at state and I think it just makes me swim faster,” Martin said. “There are so many people there cheering and it’s loud and it gets you excited. It’s an amazing atmosphere.”

Martin and Roghair are both members of the West High 200 and 400 relay teams that enter with the second and third fastest qualifying times respectively.

“We have a tremendous amount depth and that’s a big factor going into state,” Martin said. “That just allows us to place higher.”

West High has seven top-ten qualifying times as senior Lily Ernst is fourth in the 100 butterfly and has five more qualifying times that rank in the top-15.

West High is hoping it all comes together for a breakthrough team showing on Saturday.

“You get to compete for your team and you are trying to score points, you are just trying to get your hand on the wall,” Butler said. “We talk about how times don’t matter it’s just if you beat the people next to you, you are going to do good things for your team.”

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