West/Liberty girls swim team impresses at state

The Trojan Bolts swim team placed fourth at the girls state meet on Nov. 9 at YMCA Marshalltown behind state titles from Scarlet Martin ‘22 and Aurora Roghair ‘21.


Aurora Roghair

West’s girls swimming team poses after winning regionals on October 27

Hanah Kitamoto, Print Co-Editor-In-Chief

The last two years of the combined West and Liberty swim teams were strong seasons. But this year, they were even stronger.

The swim team finished in fourth place on Nov. 9 at the state swim meet at YMCA Marshalltown with a score of 184.5 points. The team improved their performance by jumping up two ranks from last year’s sixth place and also increased their number of state champions in four events. 

Aurora Roghair ’21 became the state champion in both the 200 freestyle (1:48.85) and in the 500 freestyle. In the 500 free, Roghair widened her lead in the final 100 yards to get a time of 4:50.87.

Scarlet Martin ’22 also checked off two individual wins. Martin battled hard in a neck-and-neck race in the 200 individual medley (IM) to cap off a 2:02.56. In the 100 butterfly, Martin took over the pool with an impressive time of 53.41 seconds, setting a new state record by 0.26 seconds. 

“I was so happy about that,” Martin said. “I was very prepared, I was very confident about it and I am just happy I did what I did.”

Jade Roghair ’23, sister of Aurora Roghair, is the potential future face of the West/Liberty swim team in the years to come. While being the only freshman at the state meet this year, she competed in the first heat of the 200 freestyle and placed 7th with a time of 1:57.92. Fellow teammate Olivia Taeger ’22 finished 8th (1:58.18). Jade’s first high school meet at the big stage was well-supported by her sister and her teammates. 

“Aurora helps me with everything, like at practice she motivates me and at meets she pushes me to do my best,” Jade said. “I can lean on them for support.”

It was senior Lily Ernst’s last high school meet and she ended her career with a win in the first heat of the 100 butterfly with a time of 57.68. She also swam a 2:10.24 in the 200 IM placing third.

The two freestyle relays showed best times of their season. In the 200 freestyle relay, the team of Ella Hochstetler ’22, Taeger, Martin and Aurora swam a 1:35.89 and placed third. The time was 1.31 seconds faster than their seeded time. 

The 400 freestyle relay team of Jade, Aurora, Ernst and Martin finished the meet strong placing second with a time of 3:28.64, but this time the team finished nearly four seconds faster than their seeded time of 3:32.39.

The outstanding performances from the team showed how they were prepared for this meet.

“It’s exciting because we have been waiting for the whole season and we were so ready,” Aurora said. “To show what we had to everybody was fun.”