When Naresh Naik decided to transfer from Heritage Hall to Edmond Memorial two years ago, part of his decision was to escape the shadows of his older brother.
Narayan was a star swimmer at Heritage Hall, earning All-City Swimmer of the Year honors.
Although the brothers are close, Naresh wanted to make a name on his own.
“It was a big part of it,” the junior said. “But it's just a better school for me here.
“There's more people. Heritage Hall doesn't have as much respect for other sports except for football.”
The move paid off.
Although he missed the high school season last year after the transfer, Naik enjoyed his new surroundings.
This year, when he was able to get in the pool, he shined.
He won the 100 Freestyle and finished third in the 200 Individual Medley.
Now, he's earned The Oklahoman's Boys All-City Swimmer of the Year honors.
The third-place finish eats at Naik, even though the two swimmers that finished ahead of him in the event are both close friends.
Naik is already looking forward to next year's high school season.
“I'm mixing things up,” Naresh said. “I'll probably do the 200 Free instead of the 200 IM and just try to do as fast as I can.
“I don't like losing at all.”
In that way, he's a lot like Narayan, who now swims at Wisconsin.
And while changing schools distanced him a bit from comparisons to his brother, they've invited — at least at school — comparisons to former Edmond Memorial standout Samantha Woodward.
“At school, I'll get announced for breaking a record. I have three so far this year and every time, everyone looks at the board and says, ‘You better get all of them like Samantha Woodward.' That's what I hear all the time.
“They'll ask if I'm as good as her, and they don't believe me when I say no. They don't understand how truly talented and amazing of a swimmer she is.”
Woodward just finished her senior season at Stanford.
Living up to Woodward's legacy is a tall order, but Naik is doing plenty of leave his own legacy.
After escaping his brother's shadows and thriving, Naresh hopes to once again be with his brother after next season.
“It's kind of sad not having him around all the time anymore,” Naresh said. “But maybe if I get good enough, I can get to the same college as him.”