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Swimmers Fight to Hold MIAA Championships

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WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — As with any snow storm, this massive storm has brought many postponements of sporting events. However, in one instance, it wasn’t a postponement that caused an uproar in the last 24 hours. It was an outright cancellation.

Now if you’ve lived in western Mass. for any extended period of time, you may have felt it – a feeling of disrespect or a feeling of inferiority as compared to those in the eastern half of the state.

Now, usually, it’s all fun and games, as with this map, that labels Boston as the center of the universe, and western Mass. as a place that ‘Here be Dragons,’ but sometimes, the fun and games go away, when games and sports are jeopardized.

The western Mass. swimming championships were cancelled on Thursday night, in advance of this monster snowstorm, and that has a lot of folks in the area up in arms.

Heads shaved, $300 swimsuits bought, tried on, and ready to go, but Thursday night, the MIAA canceled the western Mass. swimming championships, originally scheduled at Springfield College.

“We were just shocked…”

The Minnechaug Falcons have won the last five western Mass. championships and they were eager to continue the dynasty, and win a sixth straight title.

Now, through diligent work by parents, students, and administrators.

Friday, the MIAA announced they’ll allow a western Mass. championship to happen, but the times – many of which several seconds shaved off, due to tapering won’t count toward states.

Now while these kids have done a tremendous job to bring back a championship, it won’t be here at Springfield College, as it has been in years past. That’s because the MIAA won’t sanction the event, and therefore won’t pay the large insurance bill necessary to hold the event here.

They’ve rescheduled the event. Monday, the girls championships will be at Westfield High School. Tuesday, the boys will be at Chicopee Comp High School.

The main problem – neither of those buildings are as large as this building, and therefore the parents will not be able to attend. It will only be the swimmers in the pool.

The cause has received support from big-name swimmers as well. More than a dozen Olympians, including Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin, have tweeted their support for the cause, using #BringBackWesternMass.”

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WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.
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