The top two finishers from last year's Mid-Suburban League boys swimming meet have plenty in common.
Both teams have established, quality varsity swimmers.
Both team have a whole lot of promising newcomers.
Barrington had a slight edge in both categories on Friday night, as the Broncos earned a 106-80 victory over Fremd as the MSL began its series of divisional dual meet matchups.
The meet featured some wild point swings, and the wildest of them favored the Broncos.
Colin O'Leary, Nicholas Cogswell and Riley Lehmann finished 1-2-3 in the 100-yard backstroke, and in the next event, the 100 breaststroke, Connor Kobida, Sam Miseyka and Will Hobbs did likewise.
Fremd was able to win the meet-ending 400 free relay with a quality time of 3:27.29 from Michael Chemello, Nick Pappas, Roshan Rajan and Nick Seroni, but by that time the outcome had been decided.
"It's nice that we've got so much depth," said Kobida, a senior who's been to the state meet three times and won the breaststroke in 1:04.09.
"It's kind of like a fresh start for us this year," said Barrington senior Sebastian Piekarski, who won the 50 free (22.16) and had legs on the winning medley and 200 free relays. "We feel like we've got a long way to go, but this team has a lot of potential."
The same holds true for Fremd.
Seroni, a freshman, won the 200 IM (2:01.79) and finished second by a fingernail in the 100 fly (54.36). Newcomer Rajan teamed with veteran Chemello to provide a 1-2 finish in the 100 free, and freshman Joey Carlisle won the 500 free in 5:07.50.
"This is the first time this season where we really had to get ourselves 'up' for races," said Fremd coach Kristen Newby. "I'll say this -- our guys left everything they had in the pool. I'm really pleased with the effort.
"We're definitely in a learning phase right now with this group. A lot of our guys are making that transition from being good club swimmers to being good high school swimmers."
Among the impressive new arrivals for Barrington are Hobbs, who won the 200 free (1:50.96), and Colin O'Leary, who won the 100 fly (54.12) and the backstroke (55.33).
Barrington coach John Valentine swam a lineup that gave consideration to some intense competition scheduled for Saturday, as the Broncos host a relay meet field that includes Fremd, Fenwick, Naperville North and St. Charles East. Valentine left Friday's meet pleased with the outcome, but with some specific ideas about how to improve.
"We're sort of heading into what we think of as the middle of the season, and I like where we are," Valentine said. "We're seeing what I think of as incremental growth -- working on details on races for certain kids, and making sure we make gains in meets like tonight's."