Two NAG Records Officially Taken Back After Daktronics Timing Mishap

After following through with Daktronics and USA Swimming, 2018 ISCA Jr. National Championship Cup Meet Director Doug Fonder announced that all times from the first four sessions of the meet will count, but with .396 seconds added to them.

The addition of time comes after a confirmed issue with the Daktronics timing system setup. The timing system did not start calculating the results of each swimmer until .396 seconds after the start giving swimmers – especially 50 swimmers – a huge advantage.

A possible error was brought to the attention of Swimming World and ISCA on March 22 after many heats of incredibly fast fifties. After ISCA confirmed that there was an issue, the timing system was fixed for the Thursday Final and Friday Preliminary sessions. All times from these sessions, as well as the reminder of the meet, were official and accurate.

Additionally, any qualifying times, meet, LSC or National Age Group Records that stand after the .396 adjustment will still count. While the adjusted times from the first four sessions will still be uploaded into the USA Swimming SWIMS Database and be officially counted, the additional tenths make a huge difference for many swims.

Specifically, two of the five National Age Group Records that have been set will no longer count after adjusting the results from the first four sessions of the meet.

Daktronics released a statement on the issue: “Liberty University has alerted us to an issue with the aquatics timing system at their venue. We understand that accuracy in timing for these events is imperative at all levels of competition and have worked directly with the university to determine the cause of this issue and implement a resolution. The issue caused a delay at the beginning of events between the horn going off and the timer starting. Liberty University and the International Swim Coaches Association (ISCA) were properly following directions in setting up the system of the ISCA Junior National Championship Cup.

“A short-term resolution has been implemented to the existing equipment to ensure accuracy for the remaining events of the meet. Daktronics will be sending new horn starts to replace the affected product at Liberty University. In addition, we have communicated with the officials to establish the correct times for the previous events. Daktronics will continue to stand behind Liberty University to provide the necessary customer support.”

National Team Member Michael Andrew accounted for two of these five swims – setting new 17-18 marks in the preliminaries and finals of the 100 breast. First, he posted a 50.85 and followed up his performance with a 50.79 later that day. Adding .396 to his finals time gives him an actual swim of 51.18, which is actually .02 off Reece Whitley‘s swim from February. The performance is still a best for Andrew.

Additionally, the Mason Manta Rays have set three NAG Relay Records throughout the meet. While the 15-16 Boys 200 Medley and 200 Freestyle Relays will still count, the 15-18 relay including 17-year-old Jake Foster is now invalid.

Manta Ray Relay Breakdown:

15-18 200 Medley Relay

  • Original: 1:26.27
  • Updated: 1:26.66
  • Current NAG Record: 1:26.47
    • James JonesAndrew SeliskarGrant Godddard and John Shebat (NCAP – 2015)

15-16 200 Medley Relay

  • Original: 1:28.46
  • Updated:1:28.85
    • Carson Foster, Ian Can Gorp, Jacob McDonald, Adam Chaney
  • Former NAG Record: 1:31.29
    • Dakota MahaffeyJames DaughertyAriel SpektorTyler Rice (Bolles School – 2014)

15-16 200 Freestyle Relay

  • Original: 1:22.56
  • Updated: 1:22.56 (Thursday Night Finals)
    • Adam Chaney, Scott Shepherd, Jacob McDonald, Carson Foster
  • Former NAG Record: 1:22.88
    • Kevin Dau, Johnny Ellery, Tanner Olsen, Brandon Yong (Canyon – 2015)

On behalf of ISCA, Fonder apologized for the mishap in a coaches meeting on March 23. No word has been given on previous meets that have been held at Liberty.

21 Comments

21 comments

  1. April Budvitis-Giblin

    Tracy Pautsch Candi Chrones Kamykowski
    Kate Hartig Donnell
    Can you imagine?

    • Tracy Pautsch

      Yikes! I couldn’t even imagine that happening

    • April Budvitis-Giblin

      Tracy Pautsch this is a different article. Problems with the timing system. They had to take away 2 records because of it. Thank god we don’t have those problems.

  2. avatar
    Don Smith

    Hope the meet director resigned

    • avatar
      SwimDad

      are you kidding? Fonder is off to florida this week to make another $150,000!! There appears to be no consequences in this sport for gross negligence!

  3. Marie Colin

    We have seen this happen in Iowa with pools with Dakteonic systems.

  4. avatar
    PSU Fan

    What does Liberty Head Coach Jake S say about this. He has been very quiet about his new pool

  5. avatar
    Steve

    Sounds like the Iowa boys state meet of 2016. 23 of 24 best times in the 50 free. State record broken twice. Nothing is wrong with the system the table officials claimed.

  6. Amanda Lennex

    Wow. This is so sad for those swimmers

  7. avatar
    Joshua Strump

    I’d like to see how USA Swimming officials are sanctioning this. There are very specific rules in place for dealing with issues in a primary and secondary timing systems. Adding time evenly to all times is absolutely NOT a method allowed under USA Swimming. Great that the meet director is trying to make times count when it had nothing to do with swimmer mistakes, but you have to follow rules. And this most definitely does NOT follow rules outlined by USA Swimming, whether that is good or bad.

    • avatar
      SwimDad

      The Meet Director was 100% at fault! Fonder is responsible for the meet in its entirety – the buck stops there – after all he financially benefits to the tune of about $75,000!! And now Fonder is off to Florida for a bigger meet where he stands to make about $150,000!

      The timing issue is only one of many issues including:
      – not enough timers
      – not enough officials, one college coach stated that the officials were not calling anything due to the lack of officials. Lots of illegal kicks, turns, and underwater!
      – false starts with no DQ’s (50 free), benefiting the Gator host team (Fonder’s team)! The entire crowd boo’d at this Thursday night!
      – so bad many coaches threatened to walk out and some actaully did on Saturday
      – they never once placed an Alternate Swimmer – even though there were 10+ final races with a missing swimmer that scratched or did not show up. No Alternate Swimmer ever placed!
      – poor air and water quality, most swimmers ended up with chlorine burn

      Regarding the timing issue, Fonder first stated the timing issue was the result of a Daktronic mic/button being plugged into the wrong starter box plug. Then Fonder stated it was a Daktronic timer mic/start button issue and 2 of the 3 start mic/button were incorrectly soldered and wires were crossed by Daktronic (but one starter mic/button was good). However, Fonder could not determine which Daktronic mic/buttons were used for which races/sessions – even though 1 of the starter/mic buttons was fine! Then the most recent claim is it is a Daktronic starter box issue? If thats the case – which pool was the Daktronic starter box at? They used both Liberty pools during some sessions and at the same time – which means 2 starter boxes were used – which one was bad? After all this, the solution is to add 0.396 seconds to all races before the Thursday finals? Seems like a poor solution at best!!

      The only fair thing to do would be to manually compare stop watch times to daktronic times and look for a 0.396 trend to see which races should be adjusted. But Fonder doesn’t have time to that because he is off to Florida to operate another race and to make $150,000!!!

      Gross Negligence!!!! Fonder should not be allowed to run another meet – ever!

      Where is USA Swimming?????? We need some leadership on this issue!!!

      • avatar
        Joshua Strump

        The problem with officiating limitations was known weeks before the meet. I am aware at Va. Age Group Champs several weeks ago, the TYR meet ref was begging for officials throughout Virginia. The issue is that the TYR meet was being run in the middle of a week when few parents can take as much time off to work a meet, and the same weekend, the Speedo Sectionals were being run just 90 minutes down the road in Christiansburg. Many of the N2 certified refs from Va had already committed to go there, and that meet had been fully staffed. There just aren’t enough officials to run two meets of this caliber and this size at the same time in the same area. There is a reason why USA-S does not allow USA meets to be held without their clearance… the same reason Fonder stared ISCA, to get around USA-S rules… And this is the result.

        The USA-S rule book is pretty clear on bad timing systems. Every heat in the meet must be evaluated separately, and every lane must be calculated and then differences averaged and then adjustments made heat by heat… But, for four sessions, this would be a very arduous process… and as you said, the St. Petersburg ISCA meet starts on Wed.

        I don’t know if this is a Fonder issue, a Liberty U issue, a Dak issue, or some other combination… but it has been handled poorly, and USA-S should not be accepting the times as adjusted. No question about that.

Author: Swimming World Staff

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