With a 44.5 point lead at the end of Saturday night, it appeared to be an amazing win for the Minnetonka Skippers in the Class 2A state swimming meet.
However, officials ruled the team used an illegal entry on the final 400-yard freestyle relay team. This ruling took away both a first place finish in the race and 40 Skipper points.
Coach Dan Berve said he was responsible for the error.
"That's my fault," Berve told the Star Tribune. "I did not submit that one properly."
Even with the ruling on that relay, Minnetonka still would have taken the state title. However, the Minnesota State High School League found all three Minnetonka relay teams had entered illegally. The correct swimmers were not listed on the relay cards.
Minnetonka dropped to fourth place, giving Edina a third consecutive state title with a final score of 228. Wayzata took second with 222 points, Eden Prairie claimed third at 220 and Minnetonka finished with 200.5.
"The idea of preliminaries of the state meet is simply to make it back for finals," Minnetonka swimmer Abby Saddler wrote to Patch. "Because of this, my coach didn't put our fastest girls on the preliminary relay teams. Our intention of prelims wasn't to win, but just to make it back so we would have another swim on Saturday. All along he intended to make changes in the relays from prelims to finals by putting in the fastest girls for finals only, but he forgot to make the changes on the paperwork of the entries before finals."
Saddler said they have all learned a lot from the experience and she wouldn't even consider being mad at her coach.
"He has done so much for this team and the swimming program in general," she said. "Last year we jumped from a 10th place finish to a 2nd place finish, and I give a lot of the credit for that to him. He has brought so much more to this program than this mistake takes away. Nobody on the team is mad at him, we all love Dan Berve and we think he is the best coach ever. I think everyone is just really motivated now to win for real next season!"