Earning a spot on the junior national team ended up forcing Ruby Martin to give up her spot on the Iowa City West roster after competing in just two dual meets.
The senior, who narrowly missed qualifying for the 2016 Olympics, had never competed for the Women of Troy until this fall when she decided to join the team.
Martin got off to a great start, posting a state-best time of 55.01 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly. She also has the second-best 100 backstroke time of 57.81 and was part of several of West’s relays, ranked among Iowa’s best.
Recently, Martin earned a spot on the U.S. Junior National team, one of 30 in the country to be selected.
West Coach Byron Butler confirmed the scheduling conflicts were too great to overcome, including the reality Martin would not be able to swim in the regional meet on Oct. 28. Martin would need to compete in the regionals to earn a spot at the state meet the following Saturday in Marshalltown.
“Part of (joining the national team) is a commitment to train in Colorado Springs at the time of the regional meet,” Butler said. “She also has a large number of recruiting trips which conflict with practices and meets.
“Because she felt like she couldn’t fully commit to the team, Ruby decided to not (continue swimming for West).”
Martin did not respond to The Gazette’s interview request about her decision.
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Even with Martin’s departure, the Women of Troy are a formidable foe. They won eight of 11 events in an impressive 128-58 win Monday night over rival City High at the Mercer Park Aquatic Center.
Freshman Aurora Roghair won two individual events and was part of two other relay winning efforts. Sophomore Lily Ernst, along with seniors Melanie Housenga and Alleyna Thomas, also won multiple events.
Roghair has the second best time in the 200 freestyle. Ernst ranks fifth in the 100 butterfly.
West is ranked No. 7 in the team power rankings on quikstatsiowa.com, just behind Mississippi Valley Conference rival Cedar Falls and just in front of another MVC team, Dubuque Wahlert.
Cedar Rapids Washington is ninth, Cedar Rapids Kennedy is 12th and Linn-Mar is 13th.
Ames and West Des Moines Dowling are 1-2 in the rankings.