Bay Area high school swimmers can't compete in NCS Championship: Here's what they want changed

Swimmers at Acalanes High School are trying to get the Northern California Athletics to change rules they claim are unfair

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Saturday, May 4, 2024
Acalanes High School swimmers can't compete in NCS Championship
Swimmers from Acalanes High School are now asking the North Coast Section to change their deadline policy for the championship in this weekend's meet.

CONCORD, Calif. (KGO) -- Swimmers from Acalanes High School are now asking the North Coast Section to change their deadline policy for the championship meet. This comes after 13 swimmers are not eligible to compete in this weekend's meet. Their coach encountered an issue while submitting the names of the swimmers who qualified, and the deadline passed. Officials with the NCS say the deadline is strict and no exceptions would be made.

"Seeing all the events that I would have swam in is a pretty big slap in the face," said Brooklyn Plump, a senior swimmer. "I know I've trained just as hard if not harder than a lot of the people here."

"Walking around the deck, everything kind of came together at once like a big wave," said Cale Hanson, another senior swimmer. "We definitely know we deserve to be here."

PREVIOUS STORY: Error sinks Bay Area high school swimmers' state championship hopes, athletes plead for exemption

Thirteen swimmers from Acalanes High School are urging the North Coast Section administrators to let them compete in the championship swim meet.

The Acalanes athletes still showed up to the first day of the meet. They came there to send a message. They want the NCS to change their deadline policy.

"The NCS's mission statement is we do this for the athletes," Plump said. "I think if their values aligned with that mission statement, they would have fixed this by then."

They want the deadline policy to reflect the one USA Swimming uses. That policy is a deadline, but a grace period after to make any changes if there are any issues.

MORE: Oakland's O'Dowd girls basketball denied playoff berth

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

Swimmers usually spend the entire season training for just one meet.

In this case, the NCS championships is that meet. Some of the swimmers had prospects to swim in the state championships next week, but they can't qualify for that meet unless they swim at the NCS championships.

MORE: Oakland community reopens high school swimming pool

The Acalanes swimmers are getting support from other schools and college coaches.

A parent sent ABC7 a copy of a letter from Dave Durden, the head coach of the Cal swim team who asked the NCS to let them swim.

"Even though we can't swim and that is the biggest bummer in the world, having all the support behind us means the world to us," Hanson said.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live