Vikings Running Free

Nov. 14, 2003, midnight | By Anthony Glynn | 20 years, 5 months ago

Our cross-country team went up against Whitman on October 8. What happened wasn't pretty.

Junior Esey Kidane, one our top runners, was sprinting the last few yards of the race with two Whitman runners. All three came to a sharp turn and all three chose a different path: one Whitman runner cut the course so much that he actually went inside a marker sign, automatically being disqualified; the other Whitman runner went around the sign but still cut the designated course by a few yards therefore gaining enough to win by the skin of his teeth. Kidane took the designated course and lost a place to Whitman.

Blair would have lost the match anyway but that's not the point. Most fans by the finish line saw the cheating and so did Blair assistant coach Carl Lewin. "The officials did not disqualify the Whitman runner because it wouldn't change the overall team that wins the competition." Lewin explained, trying to calm the flabbergasted Blair parents.

"No more steps could have been taken – the main official, Wheaton's coach, saw the boy cheat and didn't do anything about it," said Lewin after everything was over. "A strict punishment for cheating would have been to disqualify the whole team, but they didn't even DQ that runner – he should have been disqualified," Lewin believed.

Kidane has lost out. This incidence has hurt his chance at getting a scholarship. He should have had a higher ranking. How maddening it would be to lose to someone who you have beaten.

You would think it's simple—someone cheats and they get disqualified—but not in this race. That Whitman runner not only got off from being reprimanded, but he stole a hard-earned place from our runner.

Because a disqualification did not change the results, some people believe it is not very important. "I did not see the incident. Fortunately, the incident did not affect the outcome of the race," said Coach Hays. Yeah, fortunately for Whitman.

A description of the events that happened that day can be found on the story XC falls to Whitman, but routs Wheaton.

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