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Kofa girls awarded first place
It took nine hours to run the State Farm Scorcher Invitational. It took two days to determine a winner.
After the Cibola girls' team was originally declared the winner Saturday, Kofa coach Tom Spanton noticed a discrepancy in the scoring, causing the Kings to gain enough points to overtake the Raiders and officially win the title.
Nicole Hartman, Lesly Salazar, Ruth Hanson and Adly Wiley finished the 3,200-meter relay in 10 minutes, 27 seconds. However, Cibola coach Brett Pavey — whose Raiders hosted the state-qualifying event — said the time was accidently inputted as 18:27. When those 10 points were added to Kofa, plus points taken away from Cibola and every other school for being knocked down a notch, Kofa was 154-146 winner instead of a 148-144 loser.
“I don't want to say it doesn't feel as good, but I feel sorry for the kids because they weren't able to celebrate right after the meet,” Spanton said. “But they were excited about it. I was excited about winning it in this manner because the bottom line is we won the meet. It wasn't as if there was something undermining going on, it was a clerical error.”
Pavey said he's not too distraught about losing the title, which would have been the Raiders' second in a row.
“We're still happy with the way our kids performed,” Pavey said. “I feel bad for the Kofa kids because it wasn't right the first time. It's not nice to have to tell the kids ‘Hey, a mistake was made.' But we still performed well. We're not worried about it at all. It's not like our kids' times were slower. We still knew how they performed, and none of that changed.”
Spanton said he had accepted the fact the Kings had lost despite never seeing anything official. When he received the results Monday morning, he noticed the 3,200 relay team was missing. A couple of phone calls later and the Kings were the champions of the 10-team meet.
“It's kind of a bummer when you finish something and you don't know what the results are,” Spanton said. “I felt really bad for the kids because they hung around and they were like ‘Coach, when are we going to get the results?' And I was like, ‘20 minutes.' And 20 minutes came in went. Then it was like ‘Check online and we'll e-mail you later.' ... I just figured we lost by four.”
Because the Scorcher is timed, an outside contractor is brought in to run the meet. Pavey declined to mention who that contractor was.
Spanton said Pavey has been nothing but gracious about the entire situation.
“There's no hard feelings. Mistakes happen,” Spanton said. “But I feel bad for the Cibola girls. They went in to practice knowing they were the Scorcher champions, and he had to break the news to them. I do feel bad for them.”