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    Swim meet challenge met by online stream

    FRANKLIN — On the agenda it was called the “State Swim challenge,” but listening to members of the MIAA Board of Directors Wednesday, it could have been termed the great escape.

    “It was a great event and it didn’t look like it was going to be that way,” said MIAA executive director Bill Gaine of the recent boys and girls swim state championships. “It looked like it would be a considerable PR nightmare.”

    Gaine was referring to the domino effect of not having Harvard University to host the state swim championships. MIT, with far less seating capacity, became the host for the state championships and Wellesley College and WPI hosted the sectionals.

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    Many of the 15 board members in attendance dealt with parents angry at being unable to see their children compete. Part of that anger was directed at the online ticketing.

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    “To everyone’s amazement the online tickets were sold out within five minutes,” said Gaine.

    Gaine also pointed out the issue isn’t going away.

    “This is something we have to face every year.”

    One plus for the swimming community was the online streaming by the new National Federation of High Schools network. Gaine said Massachusetts ranked as the fourth highest nationally in terms of winter subscriptions, which included the four state championship swim meets.

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    Pope John Paul II in Hyannis was voted exclusion status by the board. Athletic director John Muldoon asked for help, saying the school of approximately 300 students has trouble finding opponents that didn’t include a long off-Cape drive . . . The board voted unanimously to accept a proposal from the Student Advisory Committee to establish a new Educational Athletics Achievement Award . . . The MIAA will begin interviewing candidates for the new technology position Monday.