Barrington girls win sixth straight swimming state title

Sydni Diehl leads girls; BHS boys finish second behind Hawks

By Josh Bickford
Posted 3/2/20

Three days before the swimming state championships were held, Barrington High School head coach Sandy Gorham knew his team was ready to compete. 

After tapering down his team's practices …

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Barrington girls win sixth straight swimming state title

Sydni Diehl leads girls; BHS boys finish second behind Hawks


Three days before the swimming state championships were held, Barrington High School head coach Sandy Gorham knew his team was ready to compete. 

After tapering down his team's practices leading up to states, Coach Gorham waited for the tell-tale sign that his swimmers had recovered from the long season and were ready to compete at the season's biggest meet. 

Early into the practice on Wednesday, Feb. 26, Coach Gorham had his answer: The boys and girls would not stop talking.

"The energy level at practice was so high," Coach Gorham said. "They were loud, they were silly. They were talking… I had to blow the whistle two or three times to get their attention. That's a good sign."

Coach Gorham said his swimmers were begging to do some sprints during practice on Wednesday, but he limited the workout and by Saturday was rewarded, as the Barrington High School girls swim team won its sixth straight state championship and the BHS boys team powered to an impressive second place finish behind Bishop Hendricken. 

"Of all the groups I've coached, this group's worked so hard," Coach Gorham said.

Diehl leads girls to victory

Barrington High School's Sydni Diehl led the charge for the Eagles. The senior swimmer won two individual events and swam legs on two first-place relay teams. 

Diehl won the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.85. Her teammate, Rachel Baker, finished second with a time of 24.41. Barrington's Emma DiGiacomo was seventh in that event with a time of 25.41.

Diehl also won the 100 freestyle with a time of 51.42, finishing nearly three seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Baker finished fourth in that event and Zoe Webster was fifth.

"Sydni, in my 50 years of coaching, is probably the most dominant swimmer I've even coached," Coach Gorham said, adding that she holds the state record in the 50 freestyle event and the second-fastest time in the state in the 100 freestyle. Coach Gorham said the only high school girls swimmer who clocked a faster time in that event is three-time Olympian Elizabeth Beisel.

Diehl partnered with DiGiacomo, Webster and Rachel Baker to win the 200 freestyle relay and set a new state record in the process. The Barrington girls clocked a 1:38.31, which was fast enough to break the old record, which was set by Baker, Diehl, DiGiacomo and Julia Zulker last February. 

Barrington also won the 400 free relay, and also set a new state record in the event. Webster, Garin Stone, Baker and Diehl clocked a blistering time of 3:33.63, cutting nearly three full seconds off the prior record, which had been set by DiGiacomo, Stone, Baker and Diehl at last year's state meet.

Barrington opened the meet with a strong showing in the 200 medley relay. Kristen Baker, DiGiacomo, and Amy Zhao, and Stone turned in an impressive performance, finishing second behind Bay View by just .5 seconds. Coach Gorham said the BHS relay team entered the finals as seventh seed.

"That pumped them (the team) up," said Coach Gorham. "After that they swam so well."

Barrington placed two girls in the top six spots in the 200 freestyle — Webster finished fourth and Zhao finished tied for sixth. 

In the 100 butterfly, Stone led the way for the Eagles with a fourth place time of 59.41, while Zhao finished one spot back, the two Eagles separated by just half a second. Stone also swam well in the 100 backstroke, finishing with a third place time of 59.40.

"When you break a minute in 100 backstroke or 100 butterfly that's a real big deal," Coach Gorham said. "This year she (Stone) broke a minute in 100 back and 100 fly."

Kristen Baker, a freshman, finished sixth in the 100 breaststroke event.

As a team, Barrington scored 304 points, easily defeating second place LaSalle (229 points) and third place Bay View (172 points). 

Coach Gorham credited all the team members for bringing home Barrington's sixth straight state championship. He said all the girls understand that it takes a team effort to win a title. Coach Gorham made special mention of the seniors, including Diehl, Zhao and Ellie Wind among others.

Best public school team

Bishop Hendricken may have won the state title, but the boys from Barrington felt like the champions following the state championship meet at Brown University on Saturday.

The Eagles set the tone from the very start of the meet, as a team of three Eagle freshmen — Lucas Jauregui, Max LaRoche and William McClelland — and one senior — Andrew Barton — powered past Hendricken and the rest of the field to win the 200 medley relay. 

"The medley relay for the boys set the tone," said Coach Gorham. "They crushed Hendricken. From that point, I said 'Ride the waves boys.'"

And that's what the Eagles did. Barrington scored points in nearly every single event at the state meet and finished with 329 total points, second only to the Hawks' 426 and well ahead of Portsmouth and Moses Brown, which tied for third with 168 points. 

In the 200 freestyle, Barrington's Kellan Lane finished in seventh place. John Eldeiry placed third in the 200 IM, and the Eagles placed three swimmers in the 50 freestyle. McClelland finished fifth, while Jackson Bennett was sixth and Barton was seventh. 

McClelland scored more points in the 100 butterfly, finishing third with a time of 52.94, while Bennett picked up points in the 100 freestyle with an eighth place finish. 

Barrington finished second in the 200 free relay, as Luke Gorham, McClelland, Bennett and Barton clocked a time of 1:29.80. Lane, Bennett, Eldeiry and David McMillan teamed up to finish third in the 400 free relay. 

Jauregui finished seventh in the 100 backstroke, and two Eagles placed in the 100 breaststroke — Eldeiry finished third and LaRoche was fourth.

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