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MSHSL to allow Cambridge girls track team members to compete at section meet, reversing initial decision

The student-athletes were initially not allowed to compete in the Section 7AAA shot-put event after a coach accidentally left them off the roster.

CAMBRIDGE, Minn. — Members of the Cambridge-Isanti High School girls track and field team are once again on schedule to compete after a clerical error almost cost the athletes a chance to take part in their section meet.

On Thursday, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) reversed its earlier decision to not let student-athletes compete in the Section 7AAA shot-put event after a coach accidentally neglected to enter them into the roster. The MSHSL ultimately concluded from its review that adding the girls to the roster after the deadline would "not impact the competitive integrity" of the competition.

"After conducting a thorough review, the League has determined that, given the unique circumstances, participation by the omitted students would not impact the competitive integrity or effective management of the section meet. Therefore, the student-athletes will be allowed to compete in the section meet," said a statement from the MSHSL.

KARE 11's Jana Shortal spoke with a parent of one of the athletes Wednesday, who said after initial requests by the school to have their team members added to the roster, they were subsequently denied by MSHSL officials. The parent claims the MSHSL said the team failed to follow the "rules."

"Due to a clerical error by a coach, my daughter, and her Cambridge-Isanti shot-put teammates were not added to the roster for the section track meet," said parent Shari Wiltrout, adding, "all avenues to attempt to add them to the roster were pursued."

The MSHSL said the deadline to apply for the Friday meet was noon on Tuesday, with seedings being completed by later Tuesday afternoon. They argued that "approximately 30,000 entries were properly submitted by track and field coaches throughout Minnesota."

Although the MSHSL has decided it will allow the athletes to compete, it says the deadlines are set to "promote and preserve competitive integrity and ensure the efficient and effective management of the meet."

"The roster registration process and deadline are essential for the effective functioning of post-season competition," the MSHSL's statement said. "It has proven highly effective and will continue to be enforced."

The girl's Section 7AAA Track and Field meet takes place Friday evening at Forest Lake High School.

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