The Broadneck (Md.) High girls swimming team received national attention when it was stripped of a county swimming title after one of its swimmers was disqualified for illegally shaving at the meet. Now, after watching the story receive attention here on Prep Rally and on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Broadneck coach Colleen Winans-Parr has stepped forward to clear up any misconceptions and officially take the blame for her team's misfortune.
As first reported by the Annapolis Capital's Mike Peters, Winans-Parr gregariously took full responsibility for her team's disqualification after one of her swimmers was caught shaving an armpit at the meet by an opponent. Because the shave didn't involve removing body hair on the swimmer's legs or another body part traditionally targeted for streamlining, Winans-Parr assumed that the in-meet shave would blow over.
It didn't, and Broadneck was penalized as a result.
"It was a vanity shave," Winans-Parr told the Capital. "It wasn't done for an advantage purpose. But it's my fault because I never told them about shaving. No one will ever wear a pearl necklace in the pool because I told them about jewelry."
The coach said that she was first told of her swimmer's shave by an opposing coach who had been informed by one their own swimmers. She then confirmed the story with her own swimmer before the relay event for which the Broadneck team would eventually be disqualified.
Yet, instead of replacing the swimmer, Winans-Parr let the swimmer in question compete in the event, confident that she wouldn't be penalized.
"I went with my gut because she said, 'Why?' ... It's a rule, and I broke it and I turned myself in. It was not the swimmer's fault."
After the meet, Winans-Parr made the ultimate sacrifice, offering her resignation for Broadneck to keep its title. Instead, the Broadneck administration rejection her offer and suspended her for a week.
Luckily, Broadneck went on to win the region championships without its coach, and all was forgiven days later at the team's end of season banquet, where Winans-Parr received a special gift: A bouquet of flowers ... with razors attached to it.