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Outrage Grows After Girl Denied Trophy for Winning Boys' Event

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UXBRIDGE- Lunenburg's Emily Nash tees off. Division 3 Golf Tournament at Blissful Meadows.  Tuesday

Ciolino, who was awarded the first-place trophy, offered his rival the trophy, but she declined to accept because it wasn't official. Not only did Nash post the best and lowest score but she won by four strokes, a convincing win in any golf tournament.

According to the Telegram in Worcester, Mass., Emily Nash, a Lunenburg High School junior, shot a three-over 75 at Blissful Meadows on Tuesday, but MIAA rules prohibited her score from being included in the individual tournament-yet it still counted toward her team's total.

Tournament director Kevin Riordan told the Telegram & Gazette that Nash and her coach knew about the rule before play began, but Nash told the newspaper Wednesday that she thought the rule only prevented her from advancing to state.

Also, Nash played from all the same tees as the boys, so it's not like she had any unfair advantage. Her athletic director says she's finished with the top score in 90 percent of her matches. As stated in the official MIAA 2017 Fall Golf format, "Girls playing on a fall boys team can not be entered in the boys fall individual tournament".

Because of her success this fall, Emily has qualified for the Girl State Championship in the spring when she'll join her female teammates.

"Allowing her to play but not win should have been addressed prior to her competing".

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Nash was playing with the boys because there is no girls team at her school.

"I was definitely disappointed, but I understand that there are rules in place", she told the newspaper.

Instead, Nico Ciolino was declared the victor with a 7-over 79. That mark was four shots better than her nearest adversary, yet it was that opponent, Nico Ciolino. though both golfers would soon be in for a dramatic twist: Ciolino would be declared the victor and Nash disqualified from advancement, all due to their respective sexes. "But, she didn't want to take it because she was too disappointed".

The MIAA and its member schools congratulate all golfers on their performance at the recent fall sectional team golf tournament. The individual tournament opportunity for female golfers takes place during the spring season.

Hopefully, this will spark a larger discussion about giving girls the opportunity to play alongside boys - and rewarding them when they win. "There are a lot of instances where on the girls side, there may not be enough players to field a team in the spring". Female golfers can only play individually during the girls' season.

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