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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Star swimmer’s disqualification in 200 IM race puts stirs controversy at CCS

Kelsey Zhang
Sophomore Kelsey Zhang swims the 100-yard Fly at CCS on May 2. 

In an unexpected and controversial ruling during CCS competition, star sophomore swimmer Kelsey Zhang was disqualified from the 200 Individual Medley in a meet that took place at Independence High School on May 4. 

Despite her significant lead in the event finishing with a 1:57.6 time, 4 seconds ahead of second place, judges called Zhang out for performing a propulsive down motion while on her back, an illegal move according to the CCS rulebook. 

“If I did something illegal, I would be aware of it. But this time, I actually didn’t know what I did wrong,” Zhang said. “I heard my coaches arguing, but there was nothing I could do about it.”

Subsequent videos from parents and the audience suggested that Zhang was on her side and never committed the violation, contrary to the judge’s ruling. These videos were taken at a more visible angle. 

Zhang, the winner of the state meet in the 100 meter butterfly last year,  did qualify for states in the 100-yard butterfly, but ultimately chose to opt out of states and “focus on training” for the U.S. Olympic trials on June 15, where she will be participating in the 200 meter Fly.

Sophomore Taewon Yim qualified for states while freshman Lauren Fanucci qualified for CCS. At the CIF State Championships hosted from May 9-11, Yim placed 31st in 200-yard Free and 22nd in 500-yard Free out of 40 competitors in each. At CCS on May 2, Yim placed sixth in the 200-yard Free and fifth in the 500-yard Free.

“I got a lot faster this year,” Yim said. “I’m looking forward to even better performances next year.”

Fanucci placed 15th of 40 in the 500-yard freestyle and placed 21st among 40 participants in the 100-yard fly at CCS. In addition, the girls team placed seventh of 40 teams in the 4×50-yard medley relay and 10th in 4 x 50-yard freestyle relay.

Overall, the girls’ swim team finished the season with a 3-3 record while the boys’ ended with a 1-6 record. Both teams struggled with low participation at tryouts that forced both the boys’ and girls’ teams to only form a varsity team. 

“It was not the season I was expecting. It could’ve been better, but there’s nothing I can change about the past,” Zhang said. “We will keep our heads up and do way better next year.”

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