NEW BRITAIN - Sometimes doing something with a familiar face is beneficial and for Plainville brothers Darren and Brandon Paznokas that is no exception.
Brandon, the older brother, fell in love with swimming when he was younger at camp and decided to take up the sport in middle school in the 7th grade.
It inspired his brother, who took up the sport just over one year ago.
“Ever since I started swimming he was like oh I want to do that to,” Brandon Paznokas said.
“He’s been trying to look up to me and beat my stuff. It’s really been encouraging him to do good.”
Since joining the Wheeler Tigersharks with his brother Darren has been impressive.
At the Nutmeg Games Darren took first place in his first three events, the
“He actually started on our team last summer so over the last year and a half he’s grown a lot,” Wheeler Tigersharks King said. “For his age he definitely has great potential and his ability is beyond his years.”
In the Nutmeg Games both were competing in numerous events. Darren’s best event is the 25-yard backstroke.
At the Nutmeg swim meet the 25-yard backstroke wasn’t an event. The 50 yard backstroke was what Darren was competing in, giving him a challenge.
“He typically does the 25 yard,” King said. “But they don’t have that event here so he’ll get a different challenge and that will be good for him.
Darren still performed well though setting two best times in the 50-yard freestyle and 50 yard backstroke.
In the 50 freestyle Darren finished in 40 seconds and in the 50 back he finished in 39 seconds, right on pace with where he finishes when racing in the 25 yard backstroke.
“I wanted to get at least five gold medals,” Darren said. “They didn’t have to be all gold but I wanted at least five medals.”
Brandon competes in both the 100 yard freestyle and the 100 yard backstroke.
His favorite event is the backstroke.
“Every time I swim it I feel like I’m all out of energy at the end,” Brandon said. “I just feel real tired and proud of myself at the end.”
While the two compete in two different age brackets, Darren the 8U and Brandon in the 14U, the two often race each other, something that has become very competitive.
“It’s definitely competitive with us,” Darren said.
“Even though I’m younger than him my goal is to be just as good if not better.”
While the two are competitive, they also root for each other both in and out of the pool.
“Sometimes we’re very competitive with each other,” Darren said. “We do races with each other at the [YMCA] and practice together a lot. When we get to race other people I think it helps that we race each other. He teaches me and inspires me to be better.”