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Bizarre timing mishap costs Florida team potential state title - Yahoo! Sports

Published by
ross   Nov 21st 2011, 11:53pm

A South Florida girls cross country team missed out on a potential state title because of one of the strangest technical disqualifications to pop up in recent times: Two of the team's runners were disqualified because they unintentionally swapped the timing chips on their shoes.

As first reported by the Miami Herald and South Florida Sun Sentinel, two runners for Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage School were disqualified from the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 2A state cross country championship race because they accidentally wore one of the other runner's chips in one of their two shoes.

Like a number of road races, high school cross country meets often using individual computer chips which athletes attach to their shoes to transmit an official time as they cross the finish line. The technology also allows for race officials to monitor competitors as they're on the course and make sure that no one gets off track or tries to run using a shortcut; doing so would register as an incomplete race on the shoe chip's tracking system.

In the FHSAA state cross country meet, runners were required to have a chip attached to each of their shoes, meaning that each runner was competing with both a right shoe chip and a left shoe chip (why the race insisted that a chip be present on each shoe is unknown, but it may have been used as a safety measure in case one chip didn't transmit correctly).

So how did two American Heritage runners end up with mismatched chips? Here's how the Sun Sentinel helped explain exactly what happened:

[Heritage coach Maryellen Powers] explained that each runner is given two identifying chips, one for each foot. Two of Heritage's top six runners got their chips mixed up and were disqualified.

"The girls room together and one of them must have grabbed a chip belonging to the other one," Powers said.

It's unclear whether American Heritage would have won the...

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History for Florida FHSAA Cross Country State Championships
2015 1 91 18 1345  
2014 1 27 8 673  
2013 1 76 13 953  
2012 1 4 16 18 1
2011 1 64 10 1354 1
2010 1 33 47 8  
2009 1 18 7    
2008 1   5    
2007 1   1    
2006 1   1    
2005 1 1 1    
2004 1   1    
2003 1   1    
2002 1   1    
2001 1   1    
2000 1   1    
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