Tiger girls track loses team title, state relay teams on DQ

Douglas High’s Bliss Moody comes into the finish line, following the 4x400 meter relay at the Class 5A North regional meet.

Douglas High’s Bliss Moody comes into the finish line, following the 4x400 meter relay at the Class 5A North regional meet.
Photo by Carter Eckl.

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UPDATE: Monday afternoon, the NIAA reversed its decision on the Douglas disqualifications. A new story on the Tiger reinstatements can be found here

Original story

Saturday afternoon had all the makings to be quite the day for Douglas High School athletics.

The Class 5A North regional track and field meet closed with the 4x400 meter relay and the Tigers appeared to be on the verge of a team title, after taking fifth place in the day's final event. 

In team points, Douglas led the Galena Grizzlies 132.67 to 124. 

However, the NIAA deemed that the anchor in Douglas’ 4x400 relay team, Bliss Moody, had competed in her fifth event of the two-day meet, disqualifying Douglas’ 4x400 meter relay team.

By rule, an athlete can only compete in a maximum of four events.

Per the NIAA handbook on track and field, “a pupil who participates on track and field as a sanctioned sport shall not participate in more than four events during any track and field meet, including, without limitation, any relay race.”

Douglas does not feel that Moody participated in five events.

The senior was scheduled to compete in the 200-meter dash, but Moody did not participate or check-in for the event, leaving to receive treatment for a potential injury.

She did remain on the entry sheet.

To that point, Moody had competed in the long jump, 4x100 and 4x200 relay, leading to the belief that she was eligible to be used in the meet’s final race.

With the ineligible ruling, the disqualifications continued to all events Moody had been listed in.

Douglas’ 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams both took first place while Moody had won the long jump with a mark of 17 feet, six inches. Ultimately, the NIAA disqualified the Douglas girls 4x100 relay team, 4x200 relay team and Moody from the long jump – on top of the 4x400 relay disqualification.

The NIAA states that the decision of its Jury of Appeals is final. No recourse of action will be permitted after a ruling.

In total, Douglas lost 31 team points, falling from first place to third.

Galena was awarded the team title with 132 team points.

“We are extremely disappointed with the decision that has been made,” said Douglas athletic director John Glover. “I’ve been in contact with the NIAA and have voiced our concerns with the ruling. I’m most sorry for our athletes, coaches and parents. Our kids have worked incredibly hard and we feel they have earned the title of regional champions and deserve to go to the state meet.”

“We, as a coaching staff, will take ownership and responsibility for the unfortunate events that will cause our athletes to not have the opportunity compete at state,” said head coach Steven Nelms.

The NIAA did not immediately respond for comment.


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