Reservoir girls indoor track awarded county championship after scoring error reversed

A score change from this week’s Howard County indoor track and field championship has altered the meet winner in the girls team standings, officials announced Friday.

Because of a scoring error that was not corrected on the night of the event, the Reservoir High School girls team, which had been named the co-county champion along with Howard High School, has been awarded sole possession of the title.

Following the day’s events at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex on Monday, it was previously determined that the two schools had shared the county championship after tying with 88 points each.

According to Matt Clever, the commissioner of track and field for Howard County Public Schools, pole vaulters from Reservoir and Long Reach tied with jumps of eight feet each. A miscommunication between officials and scorekeepers caused the results to be recorded with an error.

Normally in such situations, Clever said there are tiebreakers used to determine the higher placing athlete. In this case, though, this process was not applied correctly. Instead, the results were posted as a tie, changing the outcome of the overall winner.

“I was notified the next day by the Reservoir coach who indicated that he felt that his vaulter had scored second place, and asked me to check the results and to see if there is an error,” Clever explained in an email to Howard County Times Sports. “Track and field rules allow for this type of protest, and if found, a scoring error can be corrected up until 48 hours after the event.”

Clever said he went through the proper channels following the appeal, including consulting the event official, the meet referee and State Rules Interpreter Steve Smith. Their findings indicated that a mistake had been made, and an alteration to the team standings was in order.

The change awards Reservoir an extra point, improving the school’s score to 89, and giving them sole possession of first place in the girls team standings.

“The coaches and participants from Howard were notified when the error was discovered and the rule properly applied,” Clever said, adding that the representatives from the school “have acted with the highest level of professionalism and understanding through this situation, and have shown the type of sportsmanship that Howard County prides itself in.”

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