The Broadneck High girls swimming squad has had its Anne Arundel County championship title retroactively withdrawn after it was determined that one of the team’s swimmers shaved on-site just before the start of the event.
National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) rules for swimming, diving and water polo stipulate that athletes cannot shave before, during or after a meet once a team is on-site, writes Cameron Smith at Sports Yahoo.
As the unnamed player shaved onsite and not before the county title was revoked. The NFHS institutes a no shaving on-site policy to protect participants from possible blood transmission and unsafe practices like sharing razors.
However, Smith believes it to be something of an archaic rule as it is generally acceptable in football and basketball.
Nevertheless, Broadneck lost all the guilty swimmer’s points and dropped from first to third place in the final standings. Subsequently, Severna Park (Md.) High was declared the county champion.
Because of the swimmer’s violation, Broadneck swimming coach Colleen Winans was suspended for the Class 4A-3A Regional Championships
A press release by the Anne Arundel School District cited the failure of Winans’ squad to abide by “the rules of the game and promote ethical relationships among coaches and players.”
Swimming World Magazine general manager Jason Marsteller said:
“I’m not sure I’ve seen much of this type of punishment within the sport.
“About the only place retroactive punishments happen is in the case of positive doping tests.”
Despite the debacle, Broadneck returned winning with both a boys and girls regional title, cruising past runners-up Severna Park by 16.5 points. A number of Broadneck swimmers cited their coach’s unfortunate and bizarre suspension as motivation to win their respective events, writes Smith.
Broadneck star Lauren Fogarty won the 100-yard breaststroke event. She said:
“We got disqualified in counties and [the coach] got in trouble; so that one was for her. I wanted to make the team proud and her proud.”