A pair of stellar swimmers from Stargate School in Thornton have found their new homes. Taking their skills to the collegiate level, the two celebrated signing day on May 10 in the Eagles’ field house.
The day belonged to seniors Allison Xin and Tegan Barrier, who beamed as they put pen to paper surrounded by their families, teammates, and other supporters.
Xin is heading to the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), a Dvission III school, while Barrier moves east to Miami University of Ohio, a Division I school.
Southern California was enough allure as it is, Xin said, but the academics were as much a draw for her as the Pasadena campus and athletic facilities. The school is rigorous, which she’s looking forward to, and the focus on research there is enticing.
“I really like the team environment there also,” Xin said. “Everyone is able to balance both academics and swimming, so that’s really important for me. Swimming there is super open. You can have different practices at different times, depending on your academics. It revolves around academics coming first, which is something I really appreciate.”
Both Xin and Barrier swam for Legacy High School because Stargate doesn’t have a swim team.
With her high school career coming to a close, Xin said it is hard to pick a favorite memory, but she will miss the relationships with her teammates the most.
She has a lot of club friends that also swim for Legacy, she explained, so she’s grateful to have made so many memories with them considering she doesn’t actually attend the school.
“High school swimming is also super different from club. It’s a lot more supportive and collaborative; everyone is cheering for everyone,” Xin said. “That’s definitely one of my favorite memories, just leagues and state [competitions] where everyone is behind the blocks cheering for you.”
Looking to the future, Xin wants to work on being a more versatile swimmer. Fortunately, the coaching staff at CalTech will allow her to try different areas and strokes as she navigates the next level.
Leaving high school is sad, but she said she is ready for the future.
For Barrier, signing to Miami of Ohio is a dream come true.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to be a Division I athlete. From the time I started swimming, this is something I’ve wanted to do,” Barrier said. “It’s really exciting to see this become a reality.”
The reputation of the swim program at the university made the decision a no-brainer, he said.
“It just boiled down to the coaching atmosphere, how they treated their swimmers. The training regiment really just fit me and really translated well for my club,” Barrier said. “I really feel like [Miami Coach Hollie Bonewit-Cron] really is devoted to her swimmers. You don’t see that a lot these days, especially with N.I.L. (name, image and likeness). That was a really good thing to see at Miami.”
Looking back at high school competition, Barrier said he will never forget winning the 200-meter free relay with the boys’ team at Legacy at the 2022 state tournament.
As a state champion and now Division I swimmer, Barrier has accomplished a lot.
But after some thought, he said going into college he wants to be a better “IM-er”, meaning he wants to improve his individual medley performance.
The individual medley consistes of of four strokes in order, from butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle.
Stargate Athletic Director David Logan said he’s proud to see his student athletes excel and leverage their success into college scholarships.
“I have two children that went through the recruiting process. It was nerve-wracking, but they ultimately made the right decisions. I’m planning on [Xin and Barrier] making the right decisions as well. It’s very exciting,” he said during the ceremony.
As their high school careers come to a close, they’re sad to leave their coaches, teammates, and families, as both Xin and Barrier will be leaving the local area.
But ultimately, the two are competitors, and they’re anxious to continue their success in college. Neither of them expect a fall-off in their production; on the contrary actually. They’re hungry to shine in an exciting new environment.
If the past is any indication of the future, their success is far from over.
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