Olympia will stay in the 4A classification — just barely.
Following Wednesday’s opt-up deadline, Olympia is listed as the second-smallest school in 4A based on most recent enrollment figures for grades 9-11.
Before numbers became official Wednesday, Olympia — a current member of the 4A Narrows League — was in danger of dropping to 3A.
“We were not expecting to fall that far down,” Olympia athletic director Tim Ahern said. “At the end of today, we’re 4A, so we’re excited.”
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Olympia was accepted to the 4A South Puget Sound League on Monday — along with Bellarmine Prep and South Kitsap — after it was granted an appeal by the West Central District.
But Ahern said the school was notified by the WIAA on Tuesday that it might be reclassified.
“It was just crazy (Tuesday),” he said. “We were notified that it was an emergency deal. They thought we were going to be 3A.”
Olympia was pushed to the bottom of 4A in part by 22 schools opting up to the larger classification. Sixty-five schools can compete in the class.
Current 4A SPSL members Bethel and Spanaway Lake rescinded opt-ups before the deadline, helping Olympia stay in 4A. Olympia will compete in the 4A SPSL starting in the fall.
The league will likely include Bellarmine Prep, Curtis, Emerald Ridge, Graham-Kapowsin, Olympia, Puyallup, Rogers and South Kitsap.
“I think we’re in a great league, and we’ll be able to compete in it,” Ahern said.
The 2016-2017 school year will begin a four-year WIAA classification cycle.
Olympia is the only school in the area that will remain in 4A. Yelm and Timberline — both current members of the 4A Narrows — will both move to the 3A SPSL.