Freshman Aurora Roghair leads Iowa City West girls' swimming to Kennedy Invite crown

Women of Troy win five of 12 events and edge three-time defending meet champion Pleasant Valley

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CEDAR RAPIDS — This time, Iowa City West was the best.

A week after a runner-up finish at Mercer Park Aquatic Center, the Women of Troy tussled with another strong eight-team girls’ swimming field, won five events and claimed the Cougar Invitational title Saturday at the Cedar Rapids Kennedy pool.

“This meet always has such competitive, competitive teams,” West Coach Byron Butler said. “I just think our girls really fought, top to bottom.”

West was led by freshman Aurora Roghair, who continued her exceptional varsity swimming debut with individual freestyle victories in the 200 and 100, plus strong contributions to two meet-record relay performances in the 200-yard freestyle and the 400 with teammates Lily Ernst, Melanie Housenga and Alleyna Thomas.

“Our work is being proven in the water,” Roghair said. “It feels really good because we’re all really close. We’re all working towards a goal, so it is nice when we get to accomplish it all together.”

The foursome have a long history together with the Iowa Flyers club team and the experience proved crucial as the meet-closing 400 free relay victory in 3:37.65 erased a two-point deficit in the team standings and delivered West the invite crown.

“To bring it together and do something that is really meaningful and great at the end means a lot to us,” said Ernst, who also won the 100 butterfly in 59.37 seconds and was third in the 200 individual medley.

Thomas and Housenga placed second and third, respectively, in the 500 free.

West finished with 492 points and edged three-time defending champion Pleasant Valley by eight points.

Host Cedar Rapids Kennedy was third with 374 points, highlighted by two runner-up relay placements. Elizabeth Severson, Mackinzee Macho, Maddie Gannon and Darby Manternach posted a season-best 1:54.80 in the 200 medley, while Kassidy Lovig replaced Gannon for another season-best in the 200 free (1:42.69).

Manternach also placed third in the 50 free (25.95), while Alexis Peterson and Anna Cater posted a 2-3 finish in diving.

Iowa City High finished fifth overall (228 points) as sophomore Carly Weigel won the 100 backstroke, finished second to Roghair in the 100 free and anchored a third-place time in the 200 free relay with Rika Yahashiri, Laura Lorenger and Trinity Sadecky.

“Competitiveness brings out a lot in me,” Weigel said. “It’s also fun to out-touch people.”

Decorah sophomore Emma Bachelder was third in the 100 free for the sixth-place Vikings (183 points).

Junior Anna Penning claimed the diving title with a six-dive score of 389.70 for Cedar Rapids Jefferson, which finished seventh overall (171 points).

KENNEDY GIRLS’ SWIMMING AND DIVING INVITATIONAL

At Cedar Rapids Kennedy

Teams — 1. Iowa City West 492, 2. Pleasant Valley 484, 3. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 374, 4. Johnston 369, 5. Iowa City High 228, 6. Decorah 183, 7. Cedar Rapids Jefferson 171, 8. Williamsburg 16.

Diving — 1. Anna Penning (CRJ), 389.70; 2. Alexis Peterson (CRK), 350.40; 3. Anna Cater (CRK), 342.00.

200 medley relay — 1. Pleasant Valley (Perapa Chotiprasidhi, Christy Bishop, Libby Staver, Lauren Groenenboom), 1:52.22; 2. C.R. Kennedy (Elizabeth Severson, Mackinzee Macho, Maddie Gannon, Darby Manternach), 1:54.80; 3. Johnston (Angela Cary, Kendall Hostetler, Kelsey Hostetler, Abby Rastetter), 1:54.94.

200 freestyle — 1. Aurora Roghair (ICW), 1:55.42; 2. Libby Staver (PV), 1:55.73; 3. Angela Cary (Johns), 2:00.03.

200 individual medley — 1. Christy Bishop (PV), 2:12.22; 2. Kendall Hostetler (PV), 2:12.65; 3. Lily Ernst (ICW), 2:14.69.

50 freestyle — 1. Lauren Groenenboom (PV), 25.63; 2. Abby Rastetter (Johns), 25.65; 3. Darby Manternach (CRK), 25.95.

100 butterfly — 1. Lily Ernst (ICW), 59.37; 2. Perapa Chotiprasidhi (PV), 1:01.80; 3. Madison Batkiewicz (Johns), 1:02.67.

100 freestyle — 1. Aurora Roghair (ICW), 54.28; 2. Carly Weigel (ICH), 55.23; 3. Emma Bachelder (Dec), 55.25.

500 freestyle — 1. Libby Staver (PV), 5:14.10; 2. Alleyna Thomas (ICW), 5:20.75; 3. Melanie Housenga (ICW), 5:24.41.

200 freestyle relay — 1. I.C. West ((Lily Ernst, Aurora Roghair, Melanie Housenga, Alleyna Thomas), 1:41.00; 2. C.R. Kennedy (Darby Manternach, Elizabeth Severson, Mackinzee Macho, Kassidy Lovig), 1:42.69; 3. I.C. High (Rika Yahashiri, Laura Lorenger, Trinity Sadecky, Carly Weigel), 1:44.71.

100 backstroke — 1. Carly Weigel (ICH), 1:01.10; 2. Perapa Chotiprasidhi (PV), 1:01.62; 3. Angela Cary (Johns), 1:01.96.

100 breaststroke — Christy Bishop (PV), 1:09.89; 2. Kendall Hostetler (Johns), 1:10.73; 3. Emily Goodman (PV), 1:11.11.

400 freestyle relay — 1. I.C. West (Melanie Housenga, Alleyna Thomas, Lily Ernst, Aurora Roghair), 3:37.65; 2. Pleasant Valley (Perapa Chotiprasidhi, Christy Bishop, Emily Goodman, Libby Staver), 3:40.05; 3. Johnston (Kendall Hostetler, Madison Batkiewicz, Abby Rastetter, Angela Cary), 3:47.19.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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