Gardner High Loses Swim Title, Alleged Rule Violations

Associated Press

GARDNER, Mass. (AP) — Gardner High School has been stripped of its 2012 girls’ state swim title for alleged rule violations.

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association said the 16-time state champions were more of a club than a school team.

MIAA says the Wildcats possibly broke a rule saying team members can’t miss practice or competition for non-school athletics in a sport the association recognizes.

The Telegram & Gazette of Worcester reports Tuesday swimmers allegedly skipped practices for club events and most were Greenwood Swim Club members, also coached by then-Gardner coach Don Lemieux.

Gardner’s roster had only one swimmer who wasn’t part of the team through school choice, home schooling or through a cooperating school.

Lemieux said he couldn’t control students coming to Gardner to swim for him and school officials could have told them no.