FORT DODGE, Iowa — Nine weeks ago, Pleasant Valley's girls track and field team hugged, cried and hoisted its first state championship trophy in 23 years.

Now, its title has been taken away.

The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union's Board of Directors voted unanimously Friday morning to strip the Spartans of their Class 4A state championship and state-qualifying victories after having an ineligible athlete participate.

Middle distance standout Kaley Ciluffo competed in three different events against college track athletes in sanctioned invitationals by a college institution from December 2013 to April 2014.

She also participated in a meet in early June against professional athletes in New Jersey.

According to PV officials, they were unaware of Ciluffo's involvement in these competitions until June 23-24.

"We're profoundly disappointed, and we don't agree with it," PV superintendent Dr. Jim Spelhaug said of the board's decision. "The board basically made the decision while admitting that Pleasant Valley coaches and administrators were no way responsible for or had any knowledge of the actions of this family and this student."

Ciluffo, who will be a senior this fall, was in violation of the PV Student Handbook and Iowa Code 36.15(2) that states "a student may not participate with or against high school graduates if the graduates represent a collegiate institution or if the event is sanctioned or sponsored by a collegiate institution."

In regards to ineligible player competition, the IGHSAU rule states: "The penalties may include, but are not limited to, the following: forfeiture of contests or events or both, involving any ineligible student; adjustment or relinquishment of conference, district tournament standings; and return of team awards or individual awards or both."

In a release issued by the IGHSAU, it didn't mention Ciluffo by name, but said the "ineligible athlete was a part of 38 team points at the (state meet)."

"The Board of Directors ruling in this situation is consistent with the scholarship rules in the Iowa Administrative Code," IGHSAU executive director Mike Dick said in a statement. "This is an unfortunate situation for all parties involved. However, the mission of our organization and its board of directors is to be fair and equitable to all of the girls that participate in IGHSAU activities. We are confident we did that today."

Michelle White, Ciluffo's mother, said the family tried to reach an agreement with the IGHSAU where the consequences would pertain to just her daughter, not impact the whole team.

"The state would not work with us," White said.

Ciluffo, who won't be eligible to compete for the 2015 track and field campaign, ran four events at the state track meet in May. She won the 800, ran legs on the victorious distance medley (which established an Iowa all-time best) and 1,600 relays and took second in the 1,500.

With her contributions, PV compiled 82.5 points — nine more than runner-up Urbandale. But with her points and placings vacated, the Spartans will have 44.5 and tumble to seventh place.

Urbandale will be declared the state champion.

Activities director D'Anne Kroemer said PV is required to return the state championship trophy, coaches plaques and awards that were won by the ineligible athlete.

Regional and state meet results will be revised and posted on the IGHSAU website next week, Dick said. 

Kroemer said it hasn't been determined if PV's Mississippi Athletic Conference title would be revoked.

Spelhaug and Kroemer attended a closed session meeting with the board at a hotel in Fort Dodge, site of this week's state softball tournament.

After Spelhaug and Kroemer presented their case, the board deliberated for an hour before reaching its decision.

Kroemer is on the board, but did not vote on the matter.

"By making this decision, the board has set a standard coaches, administrators and districts really have to know the unknowable," Spelhaug said. "We think that is an unfair standard."

PV became aware of a potential violation June 23.

Kroemer said co-coach Kenny Wheeler was talking with colleagues about track and field before someone suggested he look at online blogs that had documented results of Ciluffo competing on three occasions.

Last December, Ciluffo ran at the Illinois Wesleyan University First Chance indoor meet and won the 600-meter run.

Participating for Juventus Track Club, based in Philadelphia, Pa., Ciluffo beat individuals in her heat associated with Washington-St. Louis, Truman State, Millikin and Judson.

Then on the weekend of Feb. 8, Ciluffo, again representing Juventus, ran the women's mile in the Keck Invitational held at Illinois Wesleyan University. She won the race, but ran against athletes from Loras, Illinois State, Washington-St. Louis and Monmouth College.

In early April, a weekend where PV didn't have a competition, she ran under the name of Kaley White, her mother's last name, in the Sam Howell Invitational at Princeton University in New Jersey and finished seventh in the 800.

According to PV high school principal Mike Zimmer, Ciluffo's name in the school data base is Kaley White-Ciluffo. The meet chose to insert her name that way in the results. 

Ciluffo competed in the United States Junior Track and Field Championships in Des Moines last summer, an event that had college participants.

"Having run against college athletes there, we didn't know that was an issue going into the indoor season," White remarked.

After Wheeler viewed the results of those three meets, he contacted Kroemer and forwarded her the results.

Once Kroemer conducted her investigation, she made Spelhaug and Dick aware that PV had committed a potential violation. Kroemer also contacted Ciluffo's family to set up a meeting to discuss the matter. That took place June 24.

Kroemer said the family was aware of the local and state rules.

"The expectations are generally outlined in our code of conduct," Spelhaug said. "There is no question at all that this person, this family knew and was informed about eligibility requirements."

Earlier this summer, Ciluffo ran in Seattle, Wash., at the Brooks PR Invitational. She set an Iowa all-time best in the 800 in 2 minutes, 7.24 seconds. That time will not be recognized now.

Ciluffo claimed the Drake Relays title in the 800 and in the 1,600 relay. Drake officials will determine if any action will be taken in the near future. If they choose to take away her 800 title, it will go to Linn-Mar's Stephanie Jenks.

Jenks, ineligible to compete in cross country because she knowingly faced collegiate athletes last fall but remains eligible for track, also finished runner-up to Ciluffo at the state meet. Now, she'll have an 800 championship to go along with titles in the 1,500 and 3,000. 

"I feel terrible for Pleasant Valley,” Jenks said via e-mail Friday afternoon. “They have such a great program and they work extremely hard.

“As for being named the 800-meter state champion, I would have rather earned it than been given it by default."

It is believed to be the first time a school has been stripped of its state title in Iowa girls athletics. The 1956 Ames boys track and field team lost its state title because it had a 20-year-old on its roster. 

Kroemer informed co-coach Jane Wheeler of the board's decision Friday morning.

"She was clearly disappointed about the decision," Kroemer said. "It goes to her faith. She knows this is a lesson that is going to be tough for our team and community to learn, understand and move forward from.

"She will stand by our program, she will work just as hard to ensure our students have a great experience."

Spelhaug supported the Wheelers.

"The Wheelers are, have been and will remain excellent examples for our young ladies," he said.

At its August school board meeting, PV will discuss, as a district, what options might exist in appealing the board's decision.

Dick said the IGHSAU would not have any further comment on the ruling.

(101) comments


I find it fairly comical/ironic that this athlete is punished for a supposed fairness/anti over- participation rule when the board of directors is meeting at the State softball tournament taking place in the middle of JULY. Idk how things are done in Iowa but in lots of states there are rules on team participation in the summer. If youre going to have girls playing softball all summer when they shouldnt be, theres no reason that someone cant participate in out of school meets when shes not even representing the school.


There are lots of comments about knowingly breaking the rule vs. what's the harm. I have a little different take. How is this rule legal? How does IGHSAU have the authority to control what students do on their own time. Can they tell student-athletes they can't participate in fun runs or 3-on-3 basketball tournament or the Pillsbury Bake-Off? She wasn't representing the school, she didn't use school resources, her coach didn't transport her...I don't see how it's any of IGHSAU business. I think the rule clearly violates the 1st Amendment.

Shep Proudfoot

The people on the Board of Directors who made the decision come from across the state; not Fort Dodge. It's on the IGHSAU website; for all to see.

Shep Proudfoot

The office for IGHSAU is in Des Moines, not Fort Dodge; also on their website. I suppose that's why the meeting was held in a hotel in Fort Dodge; because that's where they happened to be, watching State Softball.

Shep Proudfoot

How about this; instead of calling a rule stupid, or feeling the need to have the stupid rule explained to you, accept the fact that one athlete and her family knew the so called stupid rule, was sat down and explained the stupid rule by her coaches, principal, and AD, then lied to them and her teammates by breaking it anyway. If she had followed the stupid rule like everyone else across the state had to, this would have never happened in the first place. There are elite track athletes in this area and across the state that go on to compete at D1 schools every year, and guess what, they followed the stupid rules. Feel bad for the teammates, coaches, and school that was effected by this; not the one who chose to break the rules.


Well, first, I don't see that the family was told about the rule specifically.

And, yes, we question rules, figure out whether they make sense, and change them if they're stupid. Your comment isn't helpful in any way. It's … stupid.

Ref -- thanks for the info -- at least there's a reason for the rule. I wonder why kids can play on elite teams that travel the world in AAU, ASA, etc., but can't travel to run against college athletes. Certainly those elite teams are out of reach for people of low or moderate income, too. Seems the times have changed so much that this rule no longer makes sense. Just my thoughts.

Shep Proudfoot

So are you saying that the AD and Superintendent are lying?

From the article:
Kroemer said the family was aware of the local and state rules.

"The expectations are generally outlined in our code of conduct," Spelhaug said. "There is no question at all that this person, this family knew and was informed about eligibility requirements

Quoted in the paper and parents of girls on the team have publically confirmed this. They knew the rules and chose to break them. No argument that the kid is good; she still has to follow the rules, whether its now, in college, or beyond that. She had 3 choices, knowing the rules. Skip the meets in question and run with her team and none of this would have happened; forget about HS and continue on the path that she is on, as there are countless opportunities along that avenue; or break the rules and do both, risk getting caught, and suffer the consequences. Too many innocents were hurt because of the selfishness of one.


The student handbook had the rule in it, that's why those people assumed the family knew about it. How many people read the entire school handbook? Like… none?


Can someone explain the reasons for this rule? It's not like the girl got paid. I would think this kind of thing would be encouraged to make a runner the best she can be. Stupid, stupid rule.


The HS athletic associations operate under the belief that competitive, fair competitions enhance a student's school experience. But what is fair? Is it fair if Ankeny Parent Boosters provide a state of the art training center and E. Des Moines work with one broken universal machine from 1970? Is it fair if a Waukee Booster club pays for its basketball coach to coach year round and have several paid "volunteers" during the season. Certainly it would make the Waukee athletes better players and isn't that what it's all about- making kids the best they can be?

Well, no. The associations work under the premise the extra-curricular sports work best when they are competitive and fair. Having some teams become so good that the competitions are meaningless is not what they had in mind. So to protect the SPORT, they sometimes restrict the individual

Eh... it is impossible to make everything fair, but there are some things they do try to control. You can't coach year round. There is a start time and a stop time. Mmmm.. would athletes be better if they could be coached and have organized practices all the time? Yes, but not everyone could afford it and having athletes be dedicated to one sport could hurt the other sports (coaches constantly do things that circumvent this, but in theory there is a start time).

One would think that having college coaching, or working out with college athletes would make one better. Easy to do if you live in Iowa City, not so easy in Grandview. Is it fair, then? The associations prohibit it.
There are a lot of these things.

What is fair for the good of the SPORT is not always good for an individual.


I didn't realize that it was wrong for someone to be the best? How can you be penalized for that? Dumb rule that shouldn't even be in place. Who cares if she competes at a national and collegiate level? If you're the best in the state, you're the the best, regardless.

Broken filter

Why does everyone care do much? High school sports are a serious waste of our tax dollars anyway.


Being part of 38 points at a state meet is very impressive and its not like she was taking PEDs. But this rule not only makes sense, it's necessary.


I've been trying to figure out what on Earth the reason is for this rule. Why do you think it's necessary?


I wonder if the sanctions would have been the same had she been a student at a Des Moines area school?


Well, the people making the decision live in Fort Dodge I believe, so….

Shep Proudfoot

No, they met in Fort Dodge because the State Softball Tourney was going on and they were in attendance there; the PV AD is on the board and I doubt she lives in Fort Dodge either.


The office is in Fort Dodge. Not just the softball tournament. The people who work in the office live in Fort Dodge. So, what's the comment about Des Moines schools about?

Shep Proudfoot

You really think the Sam Howell meet officials "chose" to enter her name as Kaley White. WRONG! You fill out a form and send it in just like the several hundred other athletes that competed and that's the name the meet uses. In fact, if you look up the results, it was listed as Kayle White. Hey, if you are trying to deceive, spell the first name differently too: that way, the coach doesn't have to remember to call you "Susie" at the track! If you want to feel bad for someone, feel bad for her teammates who worked so hard this year, and the other girls around the state who were deprived of their moment all because one family thought they were above the rules. You don't have to like or agree with the rules, but you have to abide by them like everyone else. Plain and simple; they (the athlete and family) knew the rules, and deceptively tried to get around them for their own selfish reasons. They knew the rules all along, and make no mistake, the athlete and family discussed the potential consequences, decided to go ahead with their plan, and I guarantee, had a back-up plan in place all along.


Shep, I was quoting the principal who made the comment in the article. In an earlier post Commonsense1980 contradicted the principal, he said it was the parent's decision. He may have some inside information that was not in the news article.

I was not part of the group that worked the track meet, so I have no knowledge of what they did. However, I have been part of similar events: large science fairs, Cub Scout Jamborees, Little League tryouts, and countless baseball, softball, and volleyball tournament registrations. Misspelled names, data input people taking shortcuts, illegible registration cards and the like are the norm. One volleyball tournament administrator's effort to alphabetize players by last name had a spreadsheet where all hyphenated names were truncated. So, to me, the name thing being an innocent happenstance was a very real, benign, possibility.

Commonsense1980, No disrespect intended, but the reality is you are removing one of the fastest girls in the history of Iowa girls' track and replacing her with your SCHOOL's now FOURTH fastest girl.

PV won the distance medley by about 5 sec. There was a 15 sec split between the first and last placing teams. For PV to have won in the medley the #4 PV girl would have had to have run fast enough place 4th in the 800 final. It would not have helped to move another runner to the 800 and have #4 run the short leg as M.Reynolds, the 2nd fastest PV 800m runner is 15 seconds slower than Ciluffo. With Reynolds being 15 seconds slower there is no logical scenario where PV even places unless #4 is faster than one of the three remaining runners.

The situation is similar, but not so much, in the 4x400. To have won the event the #4 PV runner would have had to have run fast enough to have benn 19th in the 400 final. PV did not have two finishers in the 400m so I am assuming they did not have a #4 that would have placed??? It is harder to determine if they would have placed in points. To place 8th, the #4 runner would have had to run her split in about 1.09, Pretty fast, especially for a #4 runner, but who knows...


Everyone seems to be missing a big point. In high school today the best students are urged to take college level courses for college credit. Here is a young athlete who like the strong academic student wants to better herself but no she can't. Please inform me of the difference between improving academically and athletically.


Taking a college course and being able to receive college level credit is not the same as participation in college sporting event. NCAA rules apply. Please do your research !!!


Athletics are extra curricular. The purpose of school is primarily academics, athletics are necessarily less important. She can better herself if she wants, she just has to play by the same rules as the rest of the kids. If she wishes to opt out of HS competition and go against college kids she can do that. The rules are designed to keep the playing field as level as possible. That encourages as many kids as possible to participate.


Sadly, we are a society filled with selfies, who think they are entitled and to heck with everyone else.

Wags a lot

All good, valid comments. A huge reality check for way too many innocent & not so innocent athletes!


Why do basketball players play with/against college players in the off season? Is there a different set if rules for that sport?


They arent representing a college at that time so no


Depends – if it's a pickup game, non-sponsored league or something, then no. If the athlete is representing a college, as what bettbulldogrunning is referring to, then yes.


The mother and daughter obviously kept her participation from the school, otherwise should would not have asked for only her daughter to punished. If they had informed the school, she would have testified that the school had knowledge before the meets.


Response to Ref:
1) In the Sam Howell Invitational the family decided to use the name: "White, Kayle" and not her full name Kaley White-Ciluffo. Seems a little suspicious when you misspell your first name.

2) Also on the Princeton Sam Howell Inv link you can find names like Tabatabaie, Arianna from Penn & Markowitz, Elizabeth Dartmouth ( I am pretty sure the track meet could have fit in the full name with the correct spelling if they were provided the information.

3) To say the relay team possibly would not have placed is disrespectful to the rest of the girls on the relay team and the team. The 4x4 won by nearly 4 seconds and most likely would have won the event with or without Kaley White-Ciluffo (aka Kayle White) if the young lady decided not to run in high school that would've been her choice and the team could have adjusted and made lineup changes to add points to their events. Not saying they would've won the state title but they would've been able to compete for the state title by making changes to the lineup.

In my opinion what you are missing here is that the athlete and mom were told by the athletic director as well as the coaching staff the rules before the season and during the season. Choosing not to obey the the rules and policies and doing what you choose to do regardless of the outcome appears and seems to be a very selfish act. This selfish act has now put many of the student athletes in a bad situation. As many of these athletes are sending information to colleges that they're pursuing with false information. This action has tainted the image of the school, track program as well as the two excellent coaches. This selfish act by the family has a negative reaction and will affect many individuals who have been working hard and doing things the correct way.

This is an unfortunate & disappointing situation for all individuals involved.

Wags a lot

Another example of how one person's action(s) can negatively affect several people. This will be a sad, long lasting memory for her teammates.


Somebody help me here. I seem to be reading the article differently than most.

1. The QCT said, "According to PV high school principal Mike Zimmer, Ciluffo's name in the school data base is Kaley White-Ciluffo. The meet chose to insert her name that way in the results."

It seems that that decision was the Sam Howell Invitational at Princeton University's decision to maybe fit it better in their press releases or their results spreadsheet or something (my conjecture). So, it sounds like not only did she use her "real" name; she used her "complete" real name. To accuse the family of subtrefuge is really pretty harsh.

2. The IGHSAU did not disqualify PV. They disqualified Kaley White-Ciluffo. Any points accrued by her were vacated and points in those events were redistributed. When they recounted the points, PV was no longer the champion, they were 7th. Except for the relays, any points and places by other PV athletes were unaffected.
I am not sure who PV would have used to replace Kaley White-Ciluffo in the relays, but removing the fastest runner in the state and replacing her with your teams #4 runner is a significant drop-off; it is very possible that the relay teams would not have placed as high as they did. It is possible that the relay teams would not have placed at all. If that is the case, then no girls would actually lose any points.

What am I missing?


Good points. Unfortunately she made a choice before this race, so they should have replaced their fastest runner with the #4 runner. Just because she is good doesn't mean the rules don't apply to her. If they had taken her out of the race at the beginning, PV wouldn't have done as well.

The team that was really robbed was the second place team who should have gotten the glory of the win all along.


How pathetic that one family would do this to the team.
Hopefully it was worth it for them, I am sure they are proud.

billy hoyle

stupid rule

Arc Angel

She and her parents knowingly broke the rules! END OF STORY!


Most posts I have read seem to be lacking a larger picture view. Our community is blessed with a young lady that can compete on a national stage as well as smoke competition years and levels supposedly above her own. As a father of an athlete I am always trying to find ways for my child to grow and further blossom. If high school students are not up to her caliber then she should seek out to better herself with tougher competition. The obscure rule is restrictive and limits our students and athletes to achieve their full potential. The story should be local talented high school girl blows doors off college and national races. Go Kaley Go.

Joe Schmo

Who cares how good she was...she broke the rules that cost her team the title. Her name is always be associated with the year they had to give up the title. Now the headlines read she used a different name to run in a race she knew she shouldn't be running


No, the story should be about how a single girl cost the whole team a title.


The title, of course, that they wouldn't have won without her anyway.


The rule applies to all or none. If you are an excellent athlete who can't win by staying within the boundaries of the rules, I'd question your morals. I don't want an excellent athlete on my team who is willing to risk the entire team's win for her own personal gain. That is not good sportsmanship, which is part of being on a team. We are blessed with a young lady who can compete on a national stage, but who is willing to bend the rules to suit her. If she wants to compete at the college level, then she shouldn't have been on her high school track team.


Knowing the facts as I do, this was a blatant act of deception running these races under the mother's maiden name. Selfish athlete and family.


I find it hard to believe that an athlete of this caliber who runs in meets all over the country isn't aware of ALL rules that apply to her. To enter these meets you have to sign many entry forms and releases asking you many questions about eligibility. Being a minor she needs an adult to sign off on these entries. She was caught because her times were posted on a blog. Track and field is a small world where everybody knows what others are doing. Coaches and admin. didn't know what was going on? Please.


I understand that IGHSAU has rules. What I do not read in the article is WHY the IGHSAU sees harm in a high school athlete competing against collegians in a collegiate event? It is hard not to think this is another regulation left over from 1956 (remember, we thought 6v6 girls basketball was the way to go long after everyone else abandoned it).


Are there any local high school athletes running the Bix tomorrow? Whether their sport is track, football, wrestling, basketball... they will be competing against college and pro athletes.

Tom Paris

The Bix isn't a college track meet.


there is a difference between running a race like the bix and running a college race. The races that she ran in, she ran against other runners who were running for a college and representing said college at the meet. the bix has no affiliation with a college and no one running it is affiliated or representing a college at the race


Not to split hairs, but the Iowa code states that they may not compete against graduates representing a college, OR "if the event is sanctioned or sponsored by a collegiate institution."
St. Ambrose is a contributing sponsor of the Bix, and a sponsor is simply defined as "an organization the provides funds for an event carried out by another."
Imagine if we go through decades of newspapers and find that local students have competed in years where there was a collegiate sponsor. What is the statute of limitations in cleaning out a school's trophy cases?


but they are just that a contributing sponsor. they arent the Title sponsor.


Who cares? You are still running against professional and collegiate athletes. I dont care the format or what name is on the runners shirt on given day there is zero difference


Iowa Code 36.15 simply mentions "santioned or sponsored", it does not address any particular type of sponsorship or even mention the phrase "title sponsor'.


I feel bad this happened to PV, but Kaley ran her mother's maiden name in the Sam Howell Invitational at Princeton University in New Jersey so she knew she was cheating!!!


Someone please help me out here....I understand that the bottom line is rules were broken here and PV should vacate the state title however I'm failing to understand why Ciluffo ran these other events. What was the incentive? Money? Status? Scholarship? Visibility? Endorsements? If she was just running for the love of the game, I don’t really understand all the hoopla other than if IGHSAU the rules then why chance it. And yes, it is clearly obvious that they were trying to be deceptive with the whole mothers maiden name thing. Someone please provide some feedback because I just baffled about what Ciluffo’s motivation might have been.


Rules are rules... but as far as choosing which ones to break, the one where all you did was compete against better athletes seems to be a pretty benign rule. She fairly ran in her races, it's not like she was taking PED's. Again though, rules are rules. Punish her and let the rest of the team keep their titles.


My understanding: the issue with running against collegiate athletes is that it's a higher level of competition and training for the high school athlete. She has run against older, stronger athletes as a whole, which ups her own times and abilities; other high school athletes have only run against other high school athletes. It's an unfair advantage at high school track meets and also, it seems, an unfair advantage when being considered for college track scholarships. Imagine choosing between a great high school athlete who has yet to prove how well she can do against college competitors, and one who, albeit against rules, has proven that she can compete. The good athlete who followed the rules is at a disadvantage.


Another good point. Now I understand the other side's viewpoint. (I feel like Gilligan in an episode of Gilligan's island...."Skipper's got a good point." Then "The professor's got a good point, too!" Everyone here is probably too young to remember that show.


Wrong is wrong and the rules should be followed. I find it interesting all the condemnation of said event here, the calling for dismissal of people that should have known but, teachers change test scores on a test in Davenport and it's, well nobody knew, or whatever the excuse was. Again, rule was broken, pay the penalty.

tom cat

Then you have the Assumption Wrestler who got arrested for drugs prior to the state tournament, but it was swept under the rug until AFTER state.... things that make you go hmmm. And this kid went on to win state, ironic... I think not. Either way, its wrong, and unfair to the ones who WANT to do well, and do whats right. Its wrong on every level. Karma, it'll come for the ones who cheat and lie.


Cheap shot there tom.
I have no clue as to what you are talking about but why bring it up and call out a young man? its irrelevant to the story.
Its clear your ax needs grinding!


Its completely relevant when someone brings up sweeping things under the rug or covering things up and furthermore calls out PV. Its a cheap shot to you because it doesnt fit your "im perfect" mentality

Sweet Louise

The issue wasnt competing in those collefe events, but ALSO competing in high school events. You cant double dip.


I got it now. I was under the impression you couldn't compete period in the off season outside of high school events. I saw that as pretty limiting. In this case though yeah they kinda stepped in it.


I really feel for the other girls on the team. The using a alias/fake name certainly sounds highly suspect.

Too bad some commentators (bulldog fans?) are loving this, it's a sad story regardless of the school.


It is certainly fraud if she ends up getting a track scholarship as a result of these illegal events.
If it was okay, everyone would be there and her options would be limited. But she was the only one there so more scouts with scholarship money focus on here.


WHY shouldn't she get a college scholarship because of it? She was trying to do her best! And OBVIOUSLY WAS DARN GOOD!! And p-l-e-a-s-e..... You think NOBODY else has done anything like this before? It took a sore looser to dig and dig for all the information.


Unfortunately you don't have to dig too far. Her coaches reported it to the state after they were lied to by the athlete and parents. She is darn good absolutely!
! Please stop being an enabler for bad choices!


Because she unfairly entered events knowing her fellow athletes would not be there. She had an unfair advantage if her 'secret' races involved scholarship or scouting opportunities. If there is a rule, it should apply to all. It's very arrogant for someone to step out of the boundaries of the rules because they think they deserve more. If she is better than the rest, it will show during regular competitions with her peers. I also think it was arrogant of her to think her needs were so far above her team that she was willing to risk their successes for her own gain. Because of her actions, her entire team was stripped of the title. Honestly, I feel really bad for her, but her actions do have consequences.


She ran a race didnt rob a bank buddy...These "illegal" activities you speak of shouldnt and will not have any affect on her college career


High school kids these days, always trying to better themselves at there sports in the off season... darn shame. What happened to the days of underage drinking and drug use at parties during the off season instead????


Good point! This sounds like something the schools should encourage rather than discourage.


Excellent point!!!!!


Very limiting Rule IMO. If one has the skill set to compete at a higher level why not give them every possibility to be their best? Also a very inconsistent rule. Local Amateur Golf Events in the QCA and also at the national USGA level are full of high school players competing against adults and also Collegiate athletes. If I'm missing something here please educate me on the differences. As for her parents committing fraud......I think that is a stretch. I don't know them but would assume they got excited with their daughters talents and wanted her to maximize her skills. In this case just didn't look at the big picture. Could happen to any of us!

Joe Schmo

Then why use a fake name to run in races that aren't high school meets?


Because they knew it was against the rules for her to run. I'm not condoning the action more questioning the rule as a whole. I probably could of summed up my last two lines by stating they acted selfishly and we are all guilty of it when it comes our kids.

Matt Iowa

I feel bad for everyone involved. I can understand the first two meets but not when someone intentionally used a fake name. By they way, i disagree with you..It wouldn't "happen to any of us". I have a daughter who is an above average runner and I would not knowingly cheat. Like I said, when she competed as her self, I could see that as a honest mistake.


I always find it interesting when people say that could never be me or I would never do that


The difference is that in the amuture golf events you are talking about, the college players are not representing their schools during the event. If this was just a track meet and the college runners were running without representing their schools, there would be no penalty.


I completely agree with you!


EXACTLY!!! I know when my son started running and was very good at it, we were just so amazed that we had him entered in every 5k around....for all we know, we may have been violating a school rule!

Matt Iowa

Mary5 - it's one think to make an error and another thing to knowingly break rules. I agree with you, she shouldn't lose a scholarship but making her eligible for high schools sports based on breaking the rule makes sense. High school students can't complete against college athletes in college sponsored sports. One could understand not knowing that rule but using a fake name? Maybe there is more to the story... I hope so!!


That is a shame, but fair is fair. The rules exist, and the parents obviously knew them and tried to get around them. They should be subject to some kind of punitive action. The mother will be called a cheater for the rest of her life.

Sports Guy

One question. Aren't the Drake Relays sponsored by a college institution? If so, by letter of the rule, aren't all IGHSAU athletes who compete in this event also ineligible?

I'm not saying what she did was right, and she does look suspicious by competing in the one event using an assumed name.


The Drake relays have a High School section and a College section. Therefore, the High School athletes are not competing against the College athletes. Thus no violation.

Sports Guy

Yes, but if it is sponsored by Drake, that is against this rule. In addition to forbidding competing against college athletes the rule forbids competition in any event that is sanctioned or sponsored by a collegiate institution.


Great point!!!!! All in all it is a dumb rule (not saying it is okay to break it). Why are we telling kids not to strive to push yourself against the strongest competition possible. God forbid we have a high school kid that has Olympic level talent because many of the runners in the trials run under their college banners.


Looks like this PV incident missed getting swept under the table...........just like everything else dirty at that school!


Can you provide a few examples?


You are right on that point! PV didn't get the chance to cover this one up!


Actions have consequences.


Sounds like the school should do the right thing and vacate their conference title also. Please explain how the coaches didn't know about the college meets. Every coach I know, knows exactly what their top athletes are doing during the off season.


Not necessarily. Parents hire private coaches and the kids goes off and competes outside the program. Blame it on the parents, that is where the fault lies.


Maybe just maybe the parents didn't realize it either....they probably aren't that old and I've talked to several people who didn't realize it either.


good points, and the trip in April was during the heart of the HS track season. Hard to believe the coaches (and other team members) didn't know she went to New Jersey over a weekend to participate in a race.


Really?? Because my son ran cross country in high school a couple of years ago and competed all summer in 5k's and his coach never even knew...for all we know, that might be against the "rules" for high school too. So maybe everyone needs to stop and think
"Does every kid and parent know every single rule for high school competition?" And every coach?


Sounds like her parents were knowing participants in this fraud. Awful!
If the AD or coach at PV knew they should be fired!
Seems like they should have known as the QCT reported on the results after the events.


But what if no one else knew she was doing it?? Why then should they be fired? Aren't people innocent until PROVEN guilty anymore?


Interesting to know if PV was aware of the college meets. Also, what's up with using a fake name? That tells me she (and her mother) knew the rules but decided to break them anyway. Sounds like a "rules apply to everyone but us" family. Great role model Mom!


Maybe the other name was used because she wanted to compete to see how good she was without 'scouts' watching for her? Why is everyone so quick to accuse of deceit?

Joe Schmo

she broke a rule, her name is tarnished. I feel sorry for the rest of the girls who played by the rules.


Her name is tarnished for breaking an obscure Iowa girls track rule? Lol. It might be a topic of conversation for awhile in this qca bubble we live but long term I think she will be ok. Very dramatic Joe


Sad, feel bad for the athletes that play by the rules......

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