BARBARA HOWARD: On Tuesday, high school golfer Emily Nash of Lunenburg came in first at the Central Massachusetts Division Three Boys Golf Tournament in Uxbridge. That's right. It was a boys golf tournament. Lunenburg High School does not have a girls golf team, so Emily Nash plays on the boys team. But even though she had the best score at Tuesday's tournament, she was not awarded the first place trophy. Instead, it went to the second best scoring golfer, a boy. And that was Nico Ciolino of Marlborough's Advanced Math and Science Academy. He's with us on the line. Thanks for joining us, Nico.

NICO CIOLINO: Yeah, no problem.

BARBARA HOWARD: So according to state rules, Emily Nash could not be awarded the trophy and she cannot advance to next week's state tournament because she's a girl. Her score only counted toward the Lunenburg team's overall score in the tournament, and it should be noted that you, Nico Ciolino, you showed a lot of sportsmanship at Tuesday's tournament. Here's Emily Nash's account of what happened after you were given the first-place trophy.

EMILY NASH: He offered the trophy to me, which was super nice and classy of him.

BARBARA HOWARD: So Emily Nash ended up declining your offer. Tell me why did you offer the trophy to her.

NICO CIOLINO: I offered it to her because in my eyes she was the winner no matter if she was a boy or a girl. At the end of the day that doesn't really bother me at all. I think it's the best golfer.

BARBARA HOWARD: What was it like competing with her, was it any different?

NICO CIOLINO: In all my golf tournaments I always play with boys, because I'm in the boys division. Being paired up with a girl was a little bit different for me. I'm not sure how it was going to be going into it, but it felt like it was just a normal round to me. She was a great person, easy to talk to, a great golfer.

BARBARA HOWARD: So put me back in the moment when they were making the awards and you were there. I mean did it put you in a tough spot, did it take the shine off your almost win?

NICO CIOLINO: I don't think that there was a shine on me. I think everyone knew that she won. I think if you were in the moment you realize that oh my goodness a great girl golfer just beat 57 guys. You know I don't think there was a sparkle, on me I thinktheret was a sparkle on her just because of how she played.

BARBARA HOWARD: When the tournament was over did you talk with Emily? What was that exchange like?

NICO CIOLINO: I did talk to her. I went up to her. People were leaving and you know I told her with trophy in hand that this is yours. You won the tournament. She told me No no no no it's ok. You know, no it is really not ok. You won the tournament. This is yours. I'm not sure why they gave it to me. She was super kind about it. It was tough on her part because we golfers, I know I can speak for myself and my team and she can too. We work so hard for these things. So I felt 100 percent that the trophy should have been hers.

BARBARA HOWARD: So you get to advance now next week to the state tournament. But Emily cannot. Do you have mixed feelings about that?

NICO CIOLINO: I do. Because she can't represent her school…I’m a little bit confused on why she can't go on to next Monday.

BARBARA HOWARD: Next time you play if you win does it take the gloss off for you? Weil you always wonder what it would have been like had she been there?

NICO CIOLINO: I do or I would. I think that it's always tough to see the best golfer from Division 3, the Central Part, not to partake in the division 3 state tournament. And if she brought her A-game to states like she did districts you never know what could have happened. So I'm going to be wondering how she would have played that day just because she should be there.

BARBARA HOWARD: What would you like the leaders of the MIAA, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association…that's the organization that governs high school sports in the state, which has this girl rule in place - what would you like them to do?

NICO CIOLINO: I think that with her being a part of the boys team she should be able to play in districts and if she plays in districts she should be able to win the districts. They should allow her to play and allow her to win in districts or states or whatever tournament the MIAA runs. With this happening the MIAA is hopefully is going to see and fix what is wrong with their tournament.

BARBARA HOWARD: Congratulations, Nico, on a well-played game and superior sportsmanship.

NICO CIOLINO: Thank you.

BARBARA HOWARD: That's Nico Celino, a golfer from Marlborough's Advanced Math and Science Academy. On Tuesday, se came in second at the Central Massachusetts Division Three Boys golf Tournament. Lunenburg’s Emily Nash came in first, but as a girl she could not collect the first place trophy thanks to state rules. WGBH News did reach out to the MIAA for comment…it issued a statement defending its rules noting that Emily Nash - referred to in the statement only as “Lunenburg’s female golfer” - can participate in a spring tournament for girls in which she is eligible for the first place trophy.