AUSTIN — The preliminary heats of the state meet might linger in the mind of Denton freestyle specialist DJ Lang as the years pass.
Lang, who carried a Region II title in the 200-yard freestyle and a runner-up finish in the 100 free, on Friday put himself into today’s championship heats in both events.
But after posting just the sixth-best time (47.00 seconds) in the 100 and the eighth-best in the 200 (1:42.80), Lang will be dealing with the chop of the outside lanes, far from the middle of the pool, where the top swimmers are highlighted.
But Lang, who will compete collegiately for Alabama in the fall, must be buoyed by the fact that there’s plenty to be decided when the meet concludes today at Texas. He seemed unconcerned about his uphill climb — or upstream swim — in either event.
“I never felt any real enthusiasm about swimming [Friday], but that will change real quickly when I get on the blocks [today],” Lang said. “After competing here last year, I thought I would be real charged to get back and show that I was better. And I still can.”
Lang was fourth in the 100 and fifth in the 200 at last year’s state meet.
Friday’s competition featured two heats in each event to determine the top eight individuals and teams for today’s finals. Those who finished ninth through 16th will swim in a consolation heat today.
Guyer’s Tristen Parish posted the third-best time in the boys 100 breaststroke with a 58.51. That time was .16 seconds faster than Parish’s regional championship time and his all-time best, but it was almost a full second slower than the preliminary showing of Tomball’s Trevor Strong.
“Tristen started off a little slower than he would have liked, but he swam well — probably better than he ever has,” said Denton school district coach Chris Cullen. “He has put himself in a position to be on the medal stand [today], and that’s something that’s never happened for a Guyer swimmer.”
Guyer’s Brandi Ruvang, the Region II champ, was in 12th place after the 1-meter girls diving prelims. Ruvang’s 185.60 point total was well behind leader Sine Scribbick of San Antonio Alamo Heights (323.55).
Denton’s 200 intermediate medley relay team of Bri Broussard, Rachael Crews, Elise Page and Kayla McGill finished 16th in the preliminaries.