A local high school cross country runner missed her one and only chance at qualifying for the State Championship because her coach was confused about the race's starting time and subsequently cost the girl a chance at qualifying. The coach has since resigned, which is unfortunate, but she admits that she was distracted due to caring for her newborn. This is a prime example of how rules need to sometimes be bent. I've raced in numerous state championship races when I was in high school and I can say without question that one extra runner will not make a difference concerning the logistics or integrity of the event. If the girl truly has the best times in her conference and was a favorite to win the qualifying meet then by all means, a special exemption must be given and the girl should run. Especially since this is cross-country season and it's not like a track meet where there is valid space considerations.
The state interscholastic athletic association, or whatever they call themselves in Washington, ought to make a swift decision to allow the girl to run and I see no reason (other than selfish ones) for them or any other school's coaches or athletes to object. It'd be different if the girl was injured or if she overslept or was sick, but to miss the event on account of her coach's inability to properly read an event schedule is definitely grounds for special consideration. Especially in light of the coach's resignation.
Full article here.