Higgins, a senior, and Rodriguez, a sophomore, are among roughly two dozen boys competing on girls teams in Massachusetts because their schools do not have boys swimming programs. They are able to do so because of the open access amendment to the state constitution, which was voted into law in the 1970s and mandates that boys and girls must be afforded equal access to athletics.This should come as no surprise. Notice that the only reason the boys are swimming against the girls is because there are no boys teams. Whereas women once complained that boys teams got all the resources, now they're not happy even though the girls teams get literally all the resources devoted to a sport.
Boys have been members of girls swim teams since the 1980s, but until recently they were mostly a sideshow. It has only been in the last year or two that boys have swum well enough to draw attention — and people’s ire. The epicenter of the debate is the 50-yard freestyle, an event in which strength can trump talent or technique.
At the Division I state championships on Saturday at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, there are eight boys in the 28-swimmer field in the 50 freestyle. Although Norwood’s Higgins was ruled academically ineligible Friday and will not compete at the state meet, two of the top four seeds in the 50 freestyle are boys, giving rise to the possibility that a boy could be the girls state champion.
Sarah Hooper, a senior at Needham High who is the fourth-fastest female entrant, finds the situation difficult to swallow....
“Absolutely, it has changed the atmosphere on the pool deck,” said Marilyn Fitzgerald, the longtime swim coach at Andover High, a perennial powerhouse. At her sectional meet last week, she added, “Coaches on the pool deck last weekend were going bloody out of their minds.”
Cooler heads are not found in the bleachers. At the Bay State conference meet earlier this month, Hooper’s father, Eric, lost his composure after watching her get beaten by boys. While waiting for her after the race, he said to her male competitors, “Good job for beating the girls.”
There is no such thing as sexual equality. And keep this in mind the next time you here a woman - or a man - attempt to justify anything in its nonexistent name.
But the faux equalitarians will no doubt be breathing easier this year, since Sarah Broderick, Sarah managed to hold off Scott DelRossi, beating him in the 50 meter freestyle with a time of 24:11 to DelRossi's 24.35. Her "championship" time was more than a second slower than the slowest of all the boys competing in the 2010 state championships.