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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Twins Josh and Jason Parrish use brotherly rivalry for track and field success

Freshman+sprinter%2C+jumper+and+hurdler+Josh+Parrish+practices+his+sprints+during+track+and+field+practice+inside+the+Heskett+Center.+Parrish+and+his+twin+brother%2C+Jason%2C+both+compete+for+Wichita+State.
Jacinda Hall
Freshman sprinter, jumper and hurdler Josh Parrish practices his sprints during track and field practice inside the Heskett Center. Parrish and his twin brother, Jason, both compete for Wichita State.

The Parrish family is stacked with athletes. Eldest Jevon is a former wrestler at The University of Nebraska–Lincoln; Jacob is a junior cornerback at Kansas State University; and the younger siblings, twins Josh and Jason Parrish, are promising track and field freshmen at Wichita State.

When the brothers were children, Josh said their parents would always have to tell them to come back into the house after a full day of competition against their siblings.

“Me and my brothers would be out 10 a.m. to probably 9 p.m. or 10 p.m., just doing something,” Josh said. “Playing football or basketball or just walking somewhere. So that always helped us because we were always active.”

The twins didn’t anticipate track becoming their main sport when they first picked it up in middle school. During his sophomore year of high school, Josh said his track coach begged him to do hurdles. For Jason, track was not his priority.

“I first started doing track just to get faster for football because that was my main focus,” Jason said.

As a junior, Jason won the 300-meter hurdles at the 6A KSHSAA state meet with “barely any practice,” and Josh came second. After that, the boys began to take track a little more seriously.

After a senior year that included more track championships, the brothers committed to Wichita State. Their freshman year has been off to a strong start, especially for Josh, who won the 60-meter hurdles and long jump at his first collegiate tournament on Jan. 12.

“I want to always succeed and get better marks each week, but now I’m realizing that that’s not always going to happen,” Josh said. “Me just being consistent is going to help me get a better margin or a better time.”

When they were younger, the brothers “weren’t nice to each other,” according to Jason. Today, they said their relationship has transformed into a friendly rivalry that pushes each other to be their best.

“Having a twin, you don’t want to be that one brother who’s just left behind,” Jason said. “(Josh), he ran a fast hurdles time. And then I will try to do that because I want to be better than him; I just don’t want him to have bragging rights.”

“I’m always going to root for my brother,” Josh said. “I’m always yelling. I’ll be the loudest there if my twin is running.”

While the two compete in slightly different events — Josh in the long and triple jump and Jason in more sprinting events — they both run the 60-meter hurdles.

Josh said he is faster in short-distance events, but Jason has him beat in long-distance races. To this, Jason had a simpler answer.

“I’m faster,” Jason said.

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About the Contributors
Jacob Unruh, Assistant Sports Editor
Jacob Unruh is the assistant sports editor for The Sunflower. He is a junior at Wichita State, majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. This is Unruh's first year on staff. He goes by he/him pronouns.
Jacinda Hall, Podcast Editor
Jacinda Hall is the podcast editor for The Sunflower. Hall is a junior majoring in communications with an emphasis in journalism and minoring in English literature. Her favorite quote is by Kurt Cobain: “I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.” In her free time, Hall likes to go to the gym, crochet and make fancy beverages. Hall's pronouns are she/her.

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