Brian Barr, a 2011 graduate of Bridgewater-Raritan High School, was noticed by several colleges while garnering numerous accolades as a Panthers swimmer.
But one took particular note of the entire package—Brown University men’s swimming and diving coach Peter Brown.
With the swimming season in full tilt, Brown has been proud of how Barr has made the transition from high school to college swimming.
“He was someone I was aware of for a couple years,” Brown said. “In the end, I really liked his attitude and maturity.”
“He is doing everything we hoped for and more,” Brown added.
With two meets left before the Ivy League Championships, Barr is a key member of a Brown team that will compete in the championships March 1 through March 3 in Princeton.
“Brian has done a great job all season,” Brown said. “The adjustment [from high school to college] for him has been very smooth.”
In the team’s season opening meet against Dartmouth in November, Barr came in second in the men’s 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:53.95. At the Princeton Invitational, Barr was part of the Bear’s 800 free relay team [with Tommy Glenn, Danny Fujinaka and James Hunter] that took silver with a time of 6:45.96, while Princeton came in first.
“He is comfortable with competing at the college level,” Brown said. “He is a tough competitor who likes challenges.”
Barr competes in both the freestyle and fly.
“Brian is equally adept at free and fly,” Brown said. “Both events will continue to evolve nicely over the course of his college career."
“Beyond talent in both strokes, he has a strong work ethic,” Brown added.
On a team with five seniors, the freshman Barr is getting crucial leadership from the seniors on the team, according to Brown.
“Our captain James Hunter has been very committed to the program and is always upbeat and always works hard,” Brown said. “He sets a great example for his teammates.”
The sport runs in the family, as Barr’s father, William, was a swimmer for Brown University, and his brother, Eric, swam for Bridgewater.
“It helps in a few ways,” Brown said of coming from a swimming background. “He a strong sense, actually through both of his parents, of what Brown University is about."
“He knows what to expect in terms of the commitment and discipline necessary," Brown added. "His dad was an excellent sprinter for Brown and tough competitor.”
The three traits that Coach Brown looks for in swimmers—dedication, discipline and desire—have already been found in Barr.
"The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree," Brown said.