MARION — The race in the 200-yard individual medley between Scarlet Martin and Hayley Kimmel had plenty of hype.
Iowa City West’s Martin and Linn-Mar’s Kimmel are two of the state’s top swimmers, but hadn’t met in the IM this season. They entered Saturday’s regional meet at the Linn-Mar Aquatics Center with the top state’s top two times in the event.
Martin, a sophomore, got off to a fast start in the first two legs of the race. Kimmel, a freshman, closed the gap in the breaststroke leg only to see Martin pull away in the freestyle to win in a time of 2:05.16. Kimmel was second in 2:07.43.
As expected, Martin and her West teammates rolled to the team championship, winning seven of the 12 events, with 506 points. Kimmel’s win in the 100 breaststroke led the host Lions to second with 385 points. Iowa City High finished third with 344.
“I was really nervous for the race,” admitted Martin. “I just went into it with a blank mind. I knew I was going to have her right by my side but I had confidence going in and was able to win.”
Although disappointed with the result, Kimmel said she was excited to be racing against Martin.
“I really didn’t plan on losing my fly as much as I did,” Kimmel said. “On my backstroke, I didn’t have the tempo I wanted, but it is all something I can work on over the next week before the state meet.”
West Coach Byron Butler thinks the race between the two at Marshalltown will be just as good.
“Both Hayley and Aurora are capable of a lot more,” he said. “Hayley’s best time ever is about a second better than Scarlet’s at state last year. I expect they will be jostling for position next week again.”
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Martin also won the 100 butterfly in 54.83. Her teammate, junior Aurora Roghair dominated her specialties, the 200 and 500 freestyles. She won the 200 by five seconds and the 500 by almost 15 seconds. Martin and Roghair were also part of winning efforts in the 200 and 400 free relays.
“It doesn’t get old,” said Roghair, who was named the athlete of the meet by a vote of the coaches. “It was so much fun today.”
Martin and Roghair get much of the attention, but Butler was quick to compliment his entire regional roster.
“We were really impressed with all of our girls today,” he said. “They’ve worked hard and we had a great payoff today. Every single girl scored today. That is something that doesn’t happen very often.
“I just feel lucky to be a part of it,” Butler added. “We are very much looking forward to the state meet.”
West’s Ella Hochstetler won the 50 freestyle in 24.55 seconds. Butler and his staff were named the regional coaching staff of the year.
Iowa City High won three events. Senior Carly Weigel captured the 100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. The Little Hawks also won the 200 medley relay.
Linn-Mar’s Jenna Carney won the diving competition on Thursday night.