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BEACHWOOD, Ohio (WJW) – A local track team is being denied entry into the state championship
this weekend.

The school said it’s all because of a registration procedure miscommunication. Now, 30 student athletes will not be allowed to compete on Saturday.

The disappointment was felt as the Beachwood High School Indoor Track Team boarded the bus to practice Wednesday.

“We’re trying to keep a normal week. We’re still dealing with the disappointment of not being allowed to run in the state championship,” said Coach Willie Smith.

Smith has registered his team for states for over two decades.

“This year, the new administration took over and changed the entire format for registration. We did not receive the email communication for that,” said Smith.

Smith said he contacted the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches who would not allow an exception for his students.

The deadline had passed.

“I literally cried. It was genuine. I love these kids. I haven’t slept since Sunday,” said Smith.

“It’s really heartbreaking. We worked hard through the season,” said Noah Saidel, senior.

FOX 8 reached out to the OATCCC for comment, but our phone calls and emails were not returned.

Meanwhile, the team is running faster and training harder at practice.

Even if the OATCCC does not change their mind before Saturday, the students said they are focused on the goal, not the obstacle.

“For a few of us, this is our senior year and three years of our high school careers have been disrupted by COVID,” said Gregory Perryman, senior.

“There was no state championship last year. Now to lose it this time. It’s been three years and they deserve the opportunity,” said Smith.