SPRINGFIELD COLLEGE, Massachusetts, February 8. NEMO, the blizzard hitting much of the Northeastern United States, has already made its impact on a number of swimming championships held this weekend.
Thursday, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) announced that it would be cancelling all of the Massachusetts sectional meets this weekend and moving the Massachusetts high school state swimming championships to next weekend.
“We regret that facility and time constraints prohibit the re-scheduling of these events,” the MIAA posted on its website, in regards to the sectional meets scheduled this weekend at Springfield College.
“There's a lot of kids who have been working really hard, and they only made Western Mass.,” Miranda Wingfield, a high school co-captain told Masslive.com.
Read the full story at: http://highschoolsports.masslive.com
Protesting the cancellation produced a massive response on Twitter, and caused the hashtag #BringBackWesternMass to start trending. A number of Olympians re-tweeted and showed their support for the cause, including Ryan Lochte, Garrett Weber-Gale and Elizabeth Beisel.
— Granger Talley (@GrangerTalley) February 8, 2013
— Catherine (@CatPoirier) February 8, 2013
— Laura (@SwimmerLaura) February 8, 2013
— Mamie Burns (@mamiee_) February 8, 2013
— Nina Arina (@NinaAarina) February 8, 2013
When 7 Olympic swimmers and probably more than 10,000 other student athletes are tweeting about it, it's big #BringBackWesternMass
— Maddie roulier (@maddddddsx10) February 8, 2013
There's nothing bigger in a swimmer's life than a championship meet. They earned this chance to race. Bring it back. #BringBackWesternMass
— Mike Gustafson (@mikelgustafson) February 8, 2013
Am i the only one who thinks its ironic that nemo is keeping them from swimming? #BringBackWesternMass
— Hannah Sullivan (@Hsullivannn) February 8, 2013
swimming is literally the hardest sport, the swimmers should be able to compete in western mass #bringbackwesternmass
— Jonny Bianchi (@jab11222) February 8, 2013
So I guess I shaved alll of those mohawks for nothing…. #bringbackwesternmass
— katherine harrington (@k_harrington14) February 7, 2013
After the massive backlash from the swimming community, news broke Friday night that the meet is back on!
MassLive reported that the meet was rescheduled to Monday and Tuesday.
“This was an absolute grassroots effort from everybody,” Minnechaug Regional High School athletic director Mike Roy said. “It's one of those things where everybody banded together.”
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Association decided Thursday to cancel all sectional swim meets this weekend due to Winter Storm Nemo. All swimmers who had posted a state qualifying time during the season will move on to next weekend's state meets.
That does not change under this arrangement. The MIAA is allowing Western Mass. to crown individual and team champions, but no new state qualifiers will be allowed — due to the inability of the other sections of the state to have such a meet.