VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., July 31. ONE last measurement confirmed what officials feared: the Princess Anne Recreation Center pool is still too short for eight national records to count in high school swimming.
The half-inch missing from the 25-meter pool will prevent the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) from recognizing the times at the February state championship.
"The last three times the pool was measured, it came up shorter than 25 meters," said Dana Abbott, association president. "There's no way to get that measurement any longer."
The ruling Wednesday ends a months-long process to allow the students' records to be recognized.
The final measurements showed the first lane was short by a half-inch and that the eighth lane was short by three-sixteenths of an inch, in line with past measurements. This time, the pool was measured along the edge in the two outside lanes. Previously, the pool had been measured down the center in the two inside lanes.
Bob White Sr., the association's national records chairman, first raised concerns in March.
"Normally, when you have a national record set, if you have one, that's a lot," White told The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk. "But they had eight out of 11 events. You seldom see more than one or two at a state championship.
"The minute I saw eight of them I thought, `Whoa, wait a minute."'
White, who has served as national records chairman for 20 years, said he had never run into a similar problem before.
Despite the short measurements, any records set in the pool that the association recognized in previous years will stand, he said.
Twenty-eight All-American status qualifications from the February meet also were not disallowed.