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St. Francis swimmer Barrowclift breaks through to state

St. Francis' first boys swimming state qualifier certainly aspired to his landmark feat, but still thought he'd be competing in a different event.

Spartans senior Michael Barrowclift, a St. Charles resident, advanced to Friday's state preliminaries at New Trier in the 50-yard freestyle, not the 100 backstroke. He considers the backstroke his stronger event.

"When I made it, I was a combination of surprised and excited," Barrowclift said. "The 50 is such a hard race, it's only there and back and you can mess up so easily."

Barrowclift hopes to shine in front of a few familiar faces in Winnetka. A member of St. Charles Swim Team during club season, he is friends with many of the Saints and North Stars who'll be on deck at New Trier.

"Most of the people that I know are fantastic swimmers because St. Charles is a great club," Barrowclift said. "I was like, 'I've got to make state. I've got to get in there.' It's fun to finally get in and be part of state with them."

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