Due to an oversight by the St. Ignatius athletic department, the school’s swim team was forced to forfeit two wins, two of its best swimmers were deemed ineligible for the rest of the season and were not allowed to compete in the West Catholic Athletic League trials and finals this past weekend.
One swimmer from the boys’ team and another from the girls’ team competed in the National Club Swimming Association Junior Nationals in Orlando, Fla. in late March, but that alone was not what caused the infraction.
According to St. Ignatius athletic director John Mulkerrins, because the swimmers had not yet competed for the Wildcats, if the swimmers would have only participated in individual events, St. Ignatius would have been in compliance of Article 6, Section 11 of the Central Coast Section bylaws, which states that, “A student many not join a school Varsity [sic] team after the first contest of that team[,] if the student has competed on an outside team or outside competition in the same sport during the school/league season of that sport. ...”
But when the swimmers competed in relays at the NCSA Junior Nationals, they technically became a part of their club team, North Bay Aquatics. Once they gained that distinction, they were ineligible to compete for St. Ignatius. The two swimmers competed in the two following St. Ignatius meets, against Lowell and Sacred Heart Cathedral, and the CCS ruled both to be forfeits after St. Ignatius self-reported the infraction.
“It’s unfortunate for the two student-athletes involved in this case,” Mulkerrins said in an interview on Friday.
“They are not allowed to compete for their high school because of an oversight in rules. We do understand that it is our responsibility to know the rules of our section and understand that the penalty is written that way to preserve the high school experience, which we believe in.”
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