Ruby Martin Breaks Mary Descenza’s Meet Record in Iowa City

2017 Iowa City Spring Sectionals

Day 2 of the 2017 Iowa City Sectional Championships started off with an explosion in the women’s 100 backstroke.

In that race, the top 4 finishers all swam under the old Meet Record – and all 4 are teammates at the Fort Collins Area Swim Team in Colorado. Kylee Alons won the race in 53.54, just out-touching herr teammate Bayley Stewart by .01 seconds. Zoe Bartel was a tenth back in 53.63 and Bailey Kovac finished 4th in 54.13.

The old record was a 54.20 set by Tevyn Waddell in 2015. She was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year last month at the Big Ten Championships.

The women’s 100 fly later in the session saw another record fall at the hands of multiple swimmers, but this time it was Ruby Martin of the host Iowa Flyers Swim Club who won in 52.99. Alons took 2nd in 53.18 and another Fort Collins swimmer Coleen Gillilan took 3rd in 53.28.

They took down the record of another star swimmer – Mary Descenza swam a 53.55 in 2002. 7 years later, she’d go on to break the 200 fly World Record at the 2009 World Championships.

Those were 2 of 4 Meet Records broken on Friday in Iowa City. In the men’s 200 free, Alexei Sancov swam a 1:35.60 to win by 2.5 seconds ahead of Edina’s 1:38.29. Sancov’s swim was more than a second better than the 13-year old Meet Record. Sancov has been as fast as 1:34.0 in the event.

Sancov also won the 100 fly in 48.31, and then he and his Terrapin Swim Team teammates closed the session with another Meet Record in the 800 free relay. He anchored the relay after Tyler JamesNathan Barsanti, and Andrew Rodriguez. The team touched in 6:42.40, which broke the Clovis Swim Club’s 2015 record in the event.

Other Day 2 Winners:

  • 15-year old Peter Larson from the Edina Swim Club won the 100 back in 49.37, beating University of Iowa junior Thomas Rathburn for the wall (49.88).
  • Fort Collins’ Bartel won the 100 breaststroke on back-to-back events with a 59.39. That’s about 4-tenths from her bet time. She took two more wins – in the 200 IM (1:58.54) and as the 800 free relay anchor (7:28.31) as her team dominated the scoring through 13 events.
  • Justin Winnett won the men’s 100 breaststroke in 54.22.
  • Melissa Pish from Waves of Bloomington-Normal won the girls’ 200 free in 1:46.83 – a second-and-a-half better than Alons (1:48.44)
  • Fort Collins’ William Kovac won the 200 IM in 1:49.78.

Team Scores Through 2 Days

Women’s Top 5:

  1. Fort Collins – 358
  2. Edina – 126
  3. Waves Bloomington/Normal – 124
  4. Iowa Flyers – 83
  5. Central Iowa Aquatics – 72

Men’s Top 5:

  1. Edina – 138
  2. Terrapins Swim Team – 134
  3. Fort Collins – 114
  4. Chicago Wolfpack Aquatic Club – 76
  5. Des Moines Swimming Federation – 61


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6 years ago

Is her brother the guy who just signed football scholarship at MI?? I think he is a great swimmer to???

Reply to  SUNY Cal
6 years ago

Yup. He broke heart of all us Hawkeyes.

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Funny. I talked yesterday about the US women’s 200 fly soon to be owned by the Martin family with Ruby and Scarlet (great first names) and the day later there’s a headline about Ruby on swimswam!
A new best time for her in the 100 fly in 52.99.
And a big time drop for her 12-year-old sister from 57.10 to 55.59. She’s now ranked 5th in the 11/12 all-time list.

6 years ago

Justin Winnett does not swim for U of Iowa!! (Who would?) He’s at Lindenwood but taking a red shirt year since he’s a transfer from SCSU.

Kassia Scott
Reply to  Swimmmer
6 years ago

Excuse me- way to show sportsmanship n bad manners to the pool’s least lowa swimmers have nice manners..proud parent of a swimmer at University of Iowa.

Reply to  Kassia Scott
6 years ago

I understand being proud of your athlete. Don’t get being proud of the program. Doormat in the big ten. One woman at NCAAs (who is a senior). Zero guys.

If you build it, they will come worked for a few years and those years are over.

Kassia scott
Reply to  Swimmmer
6 years ago

My son choose Iowa because he believed in the guys on the team. He looked at other programs & hopes to be THAT one going to NCAA some day. He wants to compete, get faster and have good team mates. Several other big 10 teams wouldn’t shake his hand getting out of the pool when he went to big meets, others were too self important to talk to undeveloped kid who started in HS and knew a little about swimming . I will support and applaud any Iowa swimmer who took the time to talk to a lanky 16 6’5 kid who thought he’d try to swim at a D1 level. Your disdain reaks of entitlement and pride.. check yr… Read more »

Reply to  Kassia scott
6 years ago

Maybe they’ll jump to 7th by then…. hahahahaha

Reply to  Kassia scott
6 years ago

Luckily for your son, they just started scoring the C final….

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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