Allyssa (Fluit) Ruths, another Southeast Polk Alum, was inducted into the Iowa High School Swim Coaches Hall of Fame in November!  4297From an early age, Allyssa has been irresistibly drawn to the water. Her initial love for the water is what led her parents to sign her up for the swim team at the Altoona campus when Allyssa was just 10 years old.

As a member of the Southeast Polk Girls Swim Team, she swam varsity from 2012-2015. At the state meet her freshmen year, she clinched a third-place finish in both the 200 and 500 freestyle. She later went on to win consecutive state championships in both events over the next three years, accumulating six individual high school championship titles. Allyssa also had the privilege of swimming on several relays at the state meets. In 2013, Allyssa broke the state records in the 200 and 500 freestyle. In the following year, her junior year, she re-broke the 200 and 500 records. Allyssa was named ‘Regional Athlete of the Year’ in 2013, 2014, and 2015 and ‘State Athlete of the Year’ in 2013 and 2014. After securing her first two State titles in 2013, Allyssa was inducted into Southeast Polk’s Hall of Champions. During that same academic year, she was named Hy-Vee’s Horizon Student Athlete of the Week and Fareway’s Student Athlete of the Week. Allyssa achieved All-American status 5 times and All-State status twice in her high school career. During her senior year, the United States Army Reserve awarded Allyssa with the National Scholar/Athlete Award. She also had the honor of attending the Des Moines Register’s All-Iowa Sports Awards Ceremony in June of 2016. It was during this remarkable event that she received the Female Swimmer of the Year award, presented to her by Peyton Manning.

When she wasn’t in the pool, Allyssa’s competitive spirit found another outlet – running. Over the span of four years, Allyssa competed for the Southeast Polk track team. She ran varsity from 2014-2016. She had the opportunity to compete at the Drake Relays and State Track Meets in 2014, 2015, and 2016 in multiple events.

Upon graduating from SEP, Allyssa went to swim and further her education at the University of Iowa. As a Hawkeye, Allyssa posted career-best times in the 50, 100, 200, and 500 freestyle. She competed at the Big Ten Championships all four years, and varsity lettered every year. Allyssa finished her career as a school record holder in the 400 and 800 freestyle relays. Notably, her 500 freestyle time currently stands as the second-best in program history, while her 200 and 100 freestyle times currently rank her third in program history. During her final year as a Hawkeye, Allyssa finished 4th at the Big Ten Championship meet in the 200 freestyle. Allyssa was a team captain for the Hawkeyes her senior year and also served on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. In 2020, Allyssa was the recipient of the Iowa Swim Team MVP Award and the Allison Pennington Haddon Strength of Character Award. That same year, she graduated with her undergraduate degree in English and Creative Writing.

Following her return to Des Moines, Allyssa married her high school sweetheart, Spencer and began working at Drake University in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

In addition to working at Drake, Allyssa has also had the opportunity to coach. This year marked her third year as a coach for the Southeast Polk Girls Swim Team. In November 2022, the SEP coaches were awarded the Regional Coaches of the Year award. Allyssa expressed her sincerest appreciation to co-head coach, and good friend Madelyn Kieler for allowing her the privilege to coach at her alma mater.

Allyssa expressed a deep sense of honor as she took her place among past inductees of the Iowa High School Swimming Hall of Fame. In the company of remarkable women who paved the way before her, she recognized the significance of this recognition and the legacy she’s become a part of. She’s sincerely thankful to her parents for always supporting her and making countless sacrifices. From driving her to morning practices when she was a freshman in high school to cheering her on at countless swim meets, her parents have been there for her every step of the way.

Throughout her journey, Allyssa has had the privilege of being guided by several exceptional coaches, each contributing to her growth and success, including her high school coach, Adam Schulte, for his invaluable guidance and mentorship. His unwavering belief in her potential, even when she faced moments of self-doubt, propelled her to achieve dreams and goals she never imagined possible.

Congratulations Allyssa!

Allysa Ruths Swim Coach Hall of Fame