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Hats Off To A Tale Of Good Sportsmanship

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Last month in New Jersey, the Monroe High School swimming team broke a record that had stood for 14 years, 51.3 seconds in the 100-meter backstroke. An individual record, which makes sense because there's only one person on Monroe's team. His name is Rich Fortels. And since Monroe doesn't really have a team for him, Fortels didn't have a team swimming cap to wear in the Greater Middlesex Conference championships, so he wore one from the club team he swims on with the club's logo on it. But that's against the rules of the National Federation of State High School Associations. Someone pointed it out, and the medal went to runner-up Michael Spark, who finished three seconds behind Fortels. Well, Sparks didn't agree so Monday, he went to Monroe High. Here's what he said to the website mycentraljersey.com.

MICHAEL SPARK: The cap wasn't enhancing his performance in any way. He beat me because he trained harder than me. He just out-swam me.

MARTIN: And with that, Michael Spark passed the first place medal to Rich Fortels, a win for sportsmanship.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALL-STAR")

SMASH MOUTH: (Singing) Hey now, you're an all-star. Get your game on, go play. Hey now, you're a rock star. Get the show on, get paid. All that glitters is gold. Only shooting stars break the mold.

MARTIN: Our theme music was written by B.J. Leiderman, and you are listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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