MA High School Swimmer Wins Court Case to Compete at MIAA State Champs After Tech Error

Longmeadow High School swimmer Benjamin Lyons won a case against the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA), allowing him the ability to compete at the State Championship meet.

Lyons had previously qualified for the MIAA Division II State Championship alongside three of his Longmeadow teammates. However, Longmeadow coach Andrew Endress encountered a technical error when entering his swimmers in the meet, causing his boy’s meet entries to not go through to the MIAA.

When Endress noticed the error, he reportedly reached out to the MIAA to correct the error on the entries for his swimmers. However, the MIAA responded that they would not be able to enter the swimmers, despite there being no written rule regarding the exclusion of athletes in the instance of a technical error with the entries. 

In order to rectify this mistake, Lyons and his parents decided to take legal actions against the MIAA, stating that preventing him from competing in the State Championship would cause “irreparable harm” to his prospects of swimming in front of college scouts. The family, represented by Elizabeth Zuckerman and Sean Buxton of Bulkley Richardson, filed a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction request with the Hampden Superior Court, which was heard by Judge James M. Manitsas, who ruled in favor of Lyons. 

As a result of the ruling, Lyons was deemed eligible to compete in the State Championship on February 18, where he placed 14th in the 200 freestyle (1:50.29) and 5th in the 500 freestyle (4:55.38). Lyons was the only one of the four Longmeadow swimmers to compete, as the remaining 3 un-named swimmers were not involved in the case. With Lyons as their only swimmer, Longmeadow finished 29th overall out of 38 teams with 17 points. 

 

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MIKE IN DALLAS
3 months ago

When legalists control entries, you end up with problems like this.
Caring folk who are officials would see the matter as it is: a simple error to be corrected in favor of ATHLETES!

Jay Ryan
3 months ago

Longmeadow HS, the home of the 1980’s Stanford Butterfly All-American Bob Hagberg (M.D.), now a Cardiothoracic Surgeon in CT and MA.

olde coach
Reply to  Jay Ryan
3 months ago

Dr. Hagberg swam at South Hadley HS. His state record in the 100 fly stood for many years. A terrific guy!

mds
3 months ago

In Benjamin being allowed to swim due to the TRO, did that result in anyone else who had been allowed into the meet getting knocked out?

Admin
Reply to  mds
3 months ago

MIAA’s state qualification is based on hitting a qualifying time at the Sectionals meet. If that’s 20 in an event or 50 in an event, they al go. So no, nobody gets bumped out, as compared to a state like Texas where only 24 go in each event regardless of their times.

NoFlyKick
3 months ago

It sounds like the coach did the right thing and tried to have the error fixed when it became apparent. Too bad it had to go through formal legal channels to be fixed. What’s with the other three qualifiers who did not swim? Who qualifies for the state meet and doesn’t swim? Did they have that norovirus that’s hitting the NE or something?

swimapologist
Reply to  NoFlyKick
3 months ago

Lawyers cost money.

Nona
3 months ago

I’m glad they got to swim. I’m always in favor of letting the athletes swim especially when it’s a clerical error by adults.

I do laugh at the argument in court about swimming in front of college coaches. They just care about your best times, wherever and whenever they take place. But the judge didn’t know that and the argument worked, so well played!

MarshMadness
Reply to  Nona
3 months ago

They? Did you read the article?

Admin
Reply to  Nona
3 months ago

Haha sometimes the means justify the ends.

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After competing for the swim …

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