Turnaround leads to state for Barrington’s Baranowski

SHARE Turnaround leads to state for Barrington’s Baranowski

Barrington boys swimming coach John Valentine wasn’t kidding when he said that junior Brandon Baranowski had turned his season around after a slow start.

During Saturday’s Barrington Sectional — won by the Broncos with 272 points — Baranowski helped the 200-yard medley relay qualify for the state meet, and he made the cut in the 100 backstroke as well.

“We knew he could help us on the medley relay, but the 100 back was a surprise,” Valentine said. “But Brandon grew up a bit during the season. He began to work harder, and the results were better. It’s really about mental focus, and not being distracted in practice. The thing we say is, ‘We practice like we race, and we race like we practice.’ And the harder he practiced, the better racer he became.”

Baranowski finished second in the 100 back (53.86 seconds) at the sectional. The 200 medley relay (with senior Kyle Ujiiye, and juniors Sam Miseyka and Sebastian Piekarski) won in 1:36.33.

Ujiiye, Miseyka, Piekarski and senior Jack Strauss combined to make the state meet — which starts Friday at New Trier — in the 200 freestyle relay, placing first in 1:26.70. Ujiiye, Piekarski, Strauss and senior Chris Vega advanced by winning the 400 free relay (3:09.75).

Strauss (200 free, 100 free), Ujiiye (100 butterfly) and Miseyka (100 breaststroke) also made state as individuals, as did sophomore diver Ethan Meister and junior Connor Kobida (100 breast).

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