Emily Nash wins sportsmanship award from MIAA, the organization that denied her Boys trophy


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Three weeks after not earning the trophy despite shooting the lowest score, Emily Nash is receiving some recognition that might help compensate (somewhat).

As multiple outlets report, Nash was honored Friday by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association with an unprecedented achievement award.  She received the award at the annual MIAA Sportsmanship Summit at Gillette Stadium.

It’s a nice consolation – but indeed still a consolation – after what Nash endured last month. The Lunenburg (Mass.) High golfer produced the lowest score at last month’s Central Mass. Division 3 boys’ tournament but wasn’t awarded the first-place trophy nor allowed to compete in the boys’ individual state tournament because she’s a girl.

Per MIAA rules: “girls playing on a fall boys’ team cannot be entered in the Boys Fall Individual Tournament. They can only play in the Boys Team Tournament. If qualified, they can play in the spring Girls Sectional and State Championships.”

This development caused an uproar in the golf community, and the support for Nash (who competed in the boys’ tournament because her school doesn’t have a full girls’ team) eventually earned her an invite to the ANNIKA Invitational, one of junior golf’s premier events.

We of course can’t gloss over the fact that this sportsmanship honor is coming from the MIAA … the very organization that denied Nash the tournament win and a state tournament berth (which she would’ve earned via a Central Mass. Division 3 boys’ tournament victory).

At the very least, though, Nash is getting some more positive attention after the situation and the MIAA appears now to be recognizing Nash’s seminal score that October day.

“It was a privilege today, before almost 1,200 MIAA student-athletes, coaches, and administrators . . . to present Emily Nash for her outstanding sportsmanship and precedent-setting achievement at the (Central Mass. Division 3 boys’ tournament),” said Bill Gaine, executive director of the MIAA.

It doesn’t make up for the lack of a trophy and competing with the best in the state tournament, but again this is a nice consolation. And we’ll really see Nash’s chops against a stellar field at the ANNIKA in January.


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