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Timberlane Owls Wrestling '07-'08

Owls-Lowell meet ruled a tie

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Tuesday, January, 29 By Dave Dyer
Staff writer

It's now official. The powerhouse Timberlane and Lowell wrestling teams remain undefeated after battling to a classic 27-27 tie in Lowell Saturday afternoon.

Timberlane scored the last 14 points of the meet to tie the score, but | using National High School Federation rules | Lowell was declared the winner by criteria because it finished with one more pin than the Owls.

However, because the meet was held in Massachusetts, Federation rules shouldn't have applied and | by Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association rules | all ties must remain so.

According to the MIAA Blue Book, rule 82.1 states: "Any regular season dual-meet competition ending in a tie score shall remain a tie. Only tie scores in a dual-meet tournament will be decided by the existing National Federation tie-breaker criteria."

Nathan Bonneau of the MIAA and head wrestling official Philip Grebinar confirmed the decision and explained that when a Massachusetts team competes in New Hampshire, it likewise abides by the governing rules in that state. Grebinar explained that it is a "home rule" situation.

As an example, St. John's Prep coach Manny Costa, who is a representative on the MIAA board, stated: "A couple of years ago, New Hampshire had the two 30-second overtimes when we wrestled at Timberlane. We followed the rule even though we didn't have it.

"Our blue book clearly states that all ties will remain a tie. It does not differentiate Massachusetts against out-of-state or Massachusetts against our own." The decision leaves Lowell with a 15-0-1 record while Timberlane is now 14-0-1.

"I don't think my kids will be happy with a tie," said Timberlane coach Barry Chooljian. "But the way the kids battled back from adversity, there is some satisfaction in not losing.

"There was a lot of emotion after the match, and it's unfortunate that this happened. But it got rectified and now we'll move on."

Lowell and Timberlane are both defending Division 1 state champions and will be favored to repeat in their respective states. Both, however, still have difficult meets remaining. Lowell must face dangerous Chelmsford and Timberlane must travel to Concord Feb. 6. Concord ended Timberlane's 60-meet winning streak last year.

The Owls and Lowell have been involved in a rotating quad-meet for many years, currently with two teams from Connecticut. Next year, the meet is scheduled to be held at Timberlane. It's a meet that should draw plenty of attention.

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