IOWA CITY — Aurora Roghair liked what she saw watching older sisters Jasmine and Ariel compete in club swimming meets.
Once she hit the water in a meet for the first time at age 7, she was hooked.
Now, Roghair is poised to cap off her prep career in championship fashion. She is the defending state champion in the 200- and 500-yard freestyles and will look to repeat those titles on Saturday at the Marshalltown YMCA.
“I’m really just trying to enjoy every moment,” said Roghair, who committed to swim at Stanford in August. “I’m so going to miss being a part of this team. I’m trying to enjoy all the little things and not let it go by as fast.”
Roghair is not only looking to defend her two titles, she hopes to lift West to a team title. The Trojans finished fourth last year and are No. 3 in the power rankings behind Waukee and Ames.
The two-day state meet begins with the diving competition on Friday at 11 a.m. Preliminaries in the individual events will be Friday at 5 p.m. with all swimming finals begin just after noon on Saturday.
Due to attendance restrictions because of COVID-19, live broadcasts will be available for $10 per session. The archives will be made available free of charge following the conclusion of the meet.
The lack of a jam-packed crowd in what is a normally intimate swimming environment will be odd for Roghair.
“Marshalltown is special for high school state because of all the hype and all the cheering,” she said. “Normally, you can feed off that energy and this year we can’t.”
One of Roghair’s strengths is her versatility. West Coach Byron Butler had several options on where to place Roghair for races at state.
“Aurora is one of the most mature athletes I have ever coached,” he said. “We had some different scenarios of what she might swim at the meet given that she is at the top of a lot of events.
“She said she was most comfortable with the 200 and 500 even though there is some great statewide competition, especially in those two events.”
To Butler’s point, Roghair isn’t the top seed in either race at state. She is seeded second behind Waukee sophomore Jessi Wigham in both.
Roghair is one of two future Division I swimmers on the team. Junior Scarlet Martin, who also won two events at state last year and is seeded No. 1 in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, credits Roghair with helping her and others on the team to improve.
“I love having Aurora there at practice. She is always there to push me,” said Martin, a Florida commit. “She is just a really great team leader. It will definitely stink not having her here next year.”
However, there still will be a Roghair on the roster. Jade, a sophomore, has qualified for state with the third-best time in the 200 free and fourth best in the 500 free.
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“It’s great being able to swim with my sister,” Aurora Roghair said. “I’m really going to miss that a lot.”
One other Gazette-area swimmer, Linn-Mar sophomore Hayley Kimmel, is a top seed. Kimmel has the top qualifying time in the 100 breaststroke.