Acalanes High School Swimmers Denied Entry Into CIF Championships After Technical Error

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Acalanes High School Swimmers Denied Entry Into CIF Championships After Technical Error

Thirteen swimmers were unable to race this weekend at the CIF-North Coast Section Championships after their coach had an issue submitting entries to the meet’s online database. According to multiple Northern California news outlets as well as emails to Swimming World, Acalanes head coach Brett Usinger encountered issues when trying to submit his team’s entries to Club Assistant.

“Essentially the vast majority of my entries were undone,” Usinger told ABC 7 News. “It was all incomplete, and it was past the deadline so I no longer had the ability to make any changes.”

The deadline for submissions was 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, April 28, and Usinger insisted he had filed his entries by that time but that Club Assistant does not send back confirmation receipts. Usinger tried to email officials with the North Coast Section office, but he did not hear back until Monday, after the entry deadline had closed.

“Acalanes High School did not submit their NCS swim team entries for this weekend’s championships before the mandatory deadline of April 28, 2024, at 1:15 p.m.,” Pat Cruickshank, the North Coast Section Commissioner, told ABC 7. “This occurred after a reminder was sent out to all NCS member schools by the Section office that the deadline was mandatory and no exceptions for late entries would be made.”

The denial of late entries from Acalanes was widely condemned in the community. Follow-up reporting by ABC 7 confirmed that the swimmers decided to still attend the first day of the meet in protest of the strict deadline policy and that Cal head coach Dave Durden wrote a letter to the Section office asking for a policy change that would allow the swimmers into the meet.

Acalanes swimmers and parents suggested that the NCS could adopt a system similar to USA Swimming’s entry policy, which allows for late changes to entries if there are issues with their submission.

“The NCS’s mission statement is we do this for the athletes,” Acalanes senior Brooklyn Plump told ABC 7. “I think if their values aligned with that mission statement, they would have fixed this by then.”

Acalanes parent Becki Hanson said, “This is something that never should have happened. It was a quick thing that could have been remedied and these kids could have been in the pool today.”

Read more from ABC 7 here and here.

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