Bryce Martin is not only the first Republic swimmer to win the conference championship in the 100-yard backstroke – he’s the first swimmer to win it from any school. That’s because up until this fall, the Central Ozark Conference didn’t have enough member schools with swimming programs to host an official conference championship meet. The addition of Republic made that change possible, and Martin took advantage in the backstroke, finishing two seconds ahead of Joplin’s Jacob Glenn to capture the title.
(Photo gallery below.)
Martin says winning the race for a conference title is extra special.
“It was one of my main strokes that I tried doing, so [I’ve been] training extra every week and building up for this,” he said. “It was really…getting what I’ve been training for. It’s really cool.”
Martin said he didn’t have a feeling for his time early in the race.
“Going into the pool, you never feel anything. You’re just so in the moment that it kind of glides right along,” he said. “Then you snap right into that last 50, because you start hurting, then you start realizing it’s about … to end, so then you start kicking in at the last, all you got.”
Republic’s highest finish in any other event was a fourth-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Seth Lock, Easton Bruton, Dylan Murray, and Martin were on that relay team.
Republic, the league’s newest swim program, finished fifth overall out of six teams.
Photos edited by Jade Kirby