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Sam Baron, a senior at Newport High School in Bellevue, Washington, has announced her verbal commitment to the University of California, Los Angeles for 2020-21.
“I am thrilled to announce my verbal commitment to swim and study at University of California, Los Angeles!!! I chose UCLA for its success in the pool and in the classroom. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and could not have done it without my family, coaches and friends. I am excited to see what my future holds and can’t wait to be a Bruin!!”
A USA Swimming Scholastic All-American and NISCA All-American, Baron is a two-time Washington High School 4A state champion in the 200 IM. She first won the WIAA 4A title as a sophomore in November 2017, going 2:02.71. That same year she placed 3rd in the 100 fly (55.18), led off the winning 200 free relay (24.02) and led off the runner-up 400 free relay (52.04). As a junior, she successfully defended her IM title (2:00.86), took 2nd in the 100 fly (53.99), and led off the 200 free relay (23.54) and 400 free relay (51.04), both of which broke meet and state records.
Baron swims year-round with Bellevue Club Swim Team. She qualified for 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the 100m butterfly (1:00.52) with her 11th-place finish at 2019 Speedo Junior Nationals. The versatile Baron also swam the 100 breast, 200 fly, 200 IM, and 400 IM in Palo Alto. She finished 7th in the 200 IM. She updated all her LCM personal bests at Pacific Northwest Swimming LSC Senior Championships in July, including 50 free (26.93), 100 free (58.38), 200 free (2:10.16), 100 breast (1:11.84), 200 fly (2:15.81), 200 IM (2:17.78), and 400 IM (4:55.18). Likewise, she ended short-course season on a high note as well, hitting PBs in all her events (50/100/200 free, 100 back, 100 breast, 100/200 fly, and 400 IM) at Federal Way Sectionals in March.
Baron will arrive in Westwood just in time to take the baton from seniors Kenisha Liu and Amy Okada, the Bruins’ top IMer and flyer. She would have had the second-fastest 100 fly on the team last year and the third-fastest 200 IM. Baron is versatile enough to be able to slot in wherever needed, though, and if she continues to improve her freestyle as she’s done over the last year, she could add significant value to four relays.
Top SCY times:
- 100 fly – 53.70
- 200 fly – 1:58.57
- 200 IM – 2:00.59
- 400 IM – 4:18.21
- 100 breast – 1:02.49
- 50 free – 23.16
- 100 free – 50.34
- 200 free – 1:51.93
- 100 back – 55.04
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