Rancho's Lu can't swim at NCS

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:
Rancho Cotate senior Eric Lu, one of the top breastrokers in Empire history, qualified for the North Coast Section Championships on Saturday in Concord, but he won’t be able to compete because his meet entry wasn’t submitted prior to the NCS’ Sunday deadline.
Lu, who won titles in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard breastroke at last week’s North Bay League Championships, would have been seeded eighth in the 100 breast and 16th in the 200 IM at NCS. He ranks 11th in Empire history in the 100 breast.
Rancho Cotate athletic director Henri Sarlatte said Cougars swim coach Robert Fletcher missed the 10 a.m. deadline for e-mailing Lu’s entry to the NCS.
“It’s unfortunate,” Sarlatte said. “There’s really nothing more that can be said. It was a human error.”
Lu, who has a 4.6 GPA and will attend Harvard, was able to put the situation in perspective a few hours after being told his season was over Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s disappointing,” Lu said. “It’s my senior season and I was looking forward to trying to swim a little faster at NCS. But one thing swimming has always taught me is that there will always be disappointments and there will always be setbacks. You’ve got to accept them and move on to the next goal.”
NCS commissioner of athletics Gil Lemmon said at least one school misses the deadline each year. Lemmon said he sympathized with Lu, but stressed the importance of following the guidelines to ensure an organized event.
“There is a deadline. Without a deadline what are we going to do?” Lemmon said. “There has to be a deadline at some point, otherwise there’s chaos … I understand what people will say, but I know people will also see the flip side.”