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Heartbroken: Registration error, vote deny Derby relay team from running at State

The Kansas State High School Track Meet is coming up Friday at Wichita State University. But one of the state’s best relay teams won't be competing.
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 9:46 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Kansas State High School Track Meet for all classes is coming up Friday at Wichita State University’s Cessna Stadium. But one of the state’s best relay teams won’t be competing.

When Derby High School Head Track and Field Coach Cedrick Shell was registering his athletes for their regional meet to qualify for State, a misplaced click cost the opportunity for some of his best athletes. When registering his boys 4X100-meter relay team, instead of clicking on junior Dylan Edwards’ name, Shell mistakenly clicked on the name of another student who is no longer with the team.

“I’m not trying to gain a tactical advantage on this at all. The kid’s not even on the team this season. He’s a thrower, so I don’t know what advantage I’d be gaining by putting him on that event,” Shell said.

When the coach realized his mistake, it was past the due date for registration. According to the Kansas State High School Activity Association’s (KSHSAA’s) manual, exceptions can be made for mistakes, as long as a committee approves it.

At the meet, the committee made up of coaches voted that the athletes from Derby were not eligible to run in the regional race, ending the team’s season on the spot.

“It just sucks because it kind of seemed like it was all for nothing, all our work for nothing,” said Derby senior sprinter Christian Crawford, on the Panthers’ 4X100 relay team.

Edwards, a standout athlete heavily recruited to play college football at the highest level, said the decision “really hurt.”

That decision left coaches on the Derby team upset as well, saying it was not in the best interest of the athletes, but rather a way for other teams to take them down.

“If our team wasn’t the number one ranked team in the region, I think they will let us run. You know, the committee was made up of teams of coaches on teams that have a horse in the race, if you will,” Derby High School sprints coach Eric Hendrick said.

The coaches said they’ve done and continue to do what they can to try to fix the mistake.

“I don’t want them punished for a mistake on my part as a coach,” Shell said.

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