AUSTIN — The fires of retribution that eventually led Guyer breaststroker Tristen Parish to the medal stand at Saturday’s state meet were stoked more than a year ago, when Parish was disqualified from the Region II meet and denied a chance to compete in Texas’ foremost high school competition.
This time around, Parish made the most of his opportunity, coming from behind to earn a second-place finish in the Class 4A 100-yard breaststroke — and Guyer’s first trip to the medal stand at Texas’ Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center.
His time of 58.13 seconds was 0.84 behind the winning effort of Tomball’s Trevor Strong but was impressive for the fact that Parish came out of the water too quickly at the start and was the last of the eight swimmers in the event to reach the wall at the 25-yard mark.
“I got to the wall and the other guys were already coming out of their turns,” Parish said. “From then on I just concentrated on beating the swimmers around me and moving up as quickly as I could. When I got to the final 25 meters, I just gave it all I had and was able to out-touch a couple of guys and get second.”
Denton school district coach Chris Cullen said that Parish was determined to make up for lost time and missed opportunities, and was swimming at his highest level for this year’s state meet.
“Tristen was so good at this time last year, too, but he never got the chance to show how good he was,” Cullen said. “To perform like he did today shows just how strong he really is.”
Denton’s DJ Lang finished sixth in the 200 freestyle after being as high as second in the middle part of the race.
“I felt really good coming into the 200 today, and I was in the race and where I wanted to be at the halfway mark,” said Lang, who will swim collegiately in the fall at Alabama. “The last 50 yards in the 200, my arms felt like they were cement and I just couldn’t finish.
Lang followed his performance in the 200 with another sixth-place finish in the 100 free.
“In the 100 I was maybe a little too relaxed in the blocks, and that might have cost me at the start — and really that’s all you need to lose that race,” Lang said. “I never got close after that.”
Guyer’s Brandi Ruvang improved one position, from 12th to 11th, in the girls 1-meter diving event with 258.20 points. The event was won by Sine Scribbick of San Antonio Alamo Heights with 457.70 points.
Alamo Heights won the 4A girls team championship, while Frisco Wakeland was first in the boys competition. Each team finished second in 2013.
Southlake Carroll’s boys won the 5A title for the fourth straight year, matching a streak that’s been accomplished by Houston Memorial (1970-73) and Houston Clear Lake (1981-84).
The Austin Westlake girls team finished fifth in the final event of the 5A competition — the 400 freestyle relay — to win the team title and upend two-time defending champion Carroll. The Chaps scored 160 points, one more than Carroll, while Humble Kingwood was third and Keller was fourth.
Five records were set at the meet: two by Wakeland’s Braydon Seal (in the boys 200 and 500 freestyle events), one by Destiny Nelson of Prosper (4A girls 100 backstroke), Jonathan Roberts of Carroll (boys 500 freestyle) and the Alamo Heights girls team (200 freestyle relay).