UPDATE: Coach won’t be disciplined for track incident

IN A STAR-NEWS ONLINE POLL…
Should a Monrovia High School track coach have sought to have a rival pole vaulter disqualified from a key match for wearing a bracelet?

2,142 total votes
YES: 331 votes, or 15.45 percent
NO: 1,811 votes, or 84.54 percent

RELATED LINKS

Pasadena Star-News: Laird caught in national radar screen after controversial disqualification

Pasadena Star-News: Jewelry snafu costs South Pasadena

Sports Illustrated: Where’s the sportsmanship? Girl disqualified for wearing bracelet

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

The controversial ruling that disqualified a South Pasadena High School pole vaulter for wearing a friendship bracelet during a dual track meet will stand, and no action will be taken against the coach who pointed out the infraction.

Monrovia High School Principal Darvin Jackson said track team co-coach Mike Knowles’ job is not in jeopardy.

“We just needed to look at all the facts to see what actually transpired,” Jackson said. “That’s what we did with (South Pasadena coach) P.J. (Hernandez) and (assistant coach) C.B. (Richards). We wanted to see if there was any malicious intent, and it was decided that was not the case, and all parties agreed.”

Administrators, athletic directors and track coaches from Monrovia and South Pasadena high schools had an hour-long meeting Wednesday evening to discuss what happened at the April 29 track meet that decided the girls’ Rio Hondo League championship.

In a joint statement released Thursday, both schools agreed Monrovia would keep its first-ever league title and no action would be taken against Knowles, who noted the infraction after South Pasadena’s Robin Laird cleared 7 feet, 6 inches to seemingly win the league title for the Tigers.

News of Knowles’ challenge and Laird’s disqualification has sparked a heated national debate among commentators, bloggers and the media.

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Baseball: Arcadia goes for perfection tonight at CV

By the way, great read in today’s L.A. Times by Bill Plaschke on a blind baseball player at Chaminade who gets to live a dream he’s waited years.

Plaschke writes:


Four years of dreaming into one sentence, uttered over a tiny loudspeaker, above a cramped baseball field, on a busy street where cars rushed past and a moment stood still.

It was a quick breath for the student who announced it, but a lasting prayer for the baseball player who would live it.

Really a great and inspiring read.

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Baseball: South Pasadena clinches third and final spot

By Nathan Cambridge, Correspondent

SAN MARINO – Third place in the Rio Hondo League came down to the final game of the regular season for the San Marino and South Pasadena high school baseball teams, and the Tigers came away with a 6-3 victory Thursday.

South Pasadena exploded for five runs on five hits in the fifth inning to secure the third and the final playoff spot from the Rio Hondo League.

“We lost our first game here against San Marino, and I told them I just feel in my heart we’re going to play the last game of the year here and the winner goes to playoffs,” South Pasadena coach Anthony Chevrier said. “And we put ourselves in that position, and then we came out and executed and won the game. It feels great.”

South Pasadena junior Tony Veiller belted a three- run home run in the fifth inning off Titans starter Chris Warren that easily cleared the fence in left field, giving the Tigers their first lead of the game, 3-2. It was a lead the Tigers never relinquished.

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Track: South Pasadena’s Laird caught in whirlwind of national radar screen after controversial disqualification

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY OF SOUTH PASADENA’S ROBIN LAIRD

RELATED LINKS:

Pasadena Star-News: National media takes hold of track incident, put their own spin on it

Los Angeles Times: A jewelry controversy in Pasadena

The Wall Street Journal: Daily Fix High School Sports Feel-Good Spectrum

Dallas Morning News: Pole vaulter disqualified because of a friendship bracelet, really?

Salt Lake Tribune: California track coach needs lesson in sportsmanship

Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Sportsmanship vs. gamesmanship

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Costly Jewelry

St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times: Team disqualified because of friendship bracelet

Gainsville (Fla.) Sun: Season of the Weird: Will it ever end?

MaxPreps.com: Old coaching dogs up to same old tricks

Pasadena Star-News: Jewelry snafu costs South Pasadena track league title

Sports Illustrated: Where’s the sportsmanship? Girl disqualified for wearing bracelet

Arkansas Sports: Good Thing This Kind of Bad Sportsmanship Doesn’t Happen Here

SpartanTailGate.com: Disqualified for wearing bracelet, opposing coach right or wrong?

Yahoo! Sports: Pole vaulter disqualified for wearing bracelet

Six Billion Stories and Counting (SBS.com): A fault in the vault

SportsRumorMill.com: Championship undone due to… friendship bracelet?

Fan Nation: Sometimes in sports, rules are made to be broken

Deadspin: Awesome Track Coach Wins League Championship By Disqualifying Girl

The Big Lead: Track Team Loses League Championship Because Of A Bracelet

ABC7.com: HS track team gets disqualified over bracelet

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

SOUTH PASADENA — Commentators, bloggers and the national media continued Wednesday to debate the finish of a dual track meet that ended in controversy when a pole vaulter was disqualified for wearing a friendship bracelet.

The April 29 meet between South Pasadena and Monrovia high schools hit the national radar screen Tuesday when Sports Illustrated published a detailed piece about pole vaulter Robin Laird’s disqualification.

“Right now it seems as if its turned into a monster of its own,” said South Pasadena track coach P.J. Hernandez. “I never thought it would get this much publicity … Now this is national coverage its crazy”

During the April 29 meet, Monrovia co-coach Mike Knowles pointed out Laird’s friendship bracelet violated national rules prohibiting jewelry. He did it after Laird cleared 7-feet-6-inches and seemingly won the Rio Hondo League title for Tigers.

Knowles was instructed Wednesday not to discuss the incident.

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Football: McFarland lands at Temple City, Muir searching for final puzzle piece, but what does this mean for PHS?

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer

Mike McFarland, who was the head football coach at Pasadena High School last season, has been offered and has accepted the Temple City job vacated by Anthony White, who resigned in late February after one season. McFarland is now awaiting the results of a standard background check and school board approval before making it official. McFarland, who graduated from Arcadia in 1993, previously coached offensive line at Muir in 2001 before several small-college stops. He went 5-5 last year in his lone season at Pasadena. He’s expected to teach government and economics at Temple City.

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Softball: Mayfield celebrates after 10 inning marathon

Mayfield freshman Mireya Hernandez hit a walk-off single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th to help the Cubs to a 1-0 win over Pasadena Poly to clinch the Prep League title outright Wednesday afternoon at Brookside Park. Mayfield pitcher Katie Clancy pitched the distance, allowed just one hit and struck out nine. Wish I had been there to see it …

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Football: Better late than never, right Temple City?

Aram Tolegian reports Temple City is expected to name former Pasadena coach Mike McFarland its next head coach following school board approval at a meeting Wednesday night, according to a source. McFarland will replace Anthony White, who resigned after one season to become head coach at Buena Park. McFarland was 5-5 in his lone season at Pasadena.

Aram’s take: I thought McFarland was at Pasadena longer than just one season. But that’s what it says on CalPreps. Anyway, if this gets confirmed by the board then the Rams will have their man just in time to still have a decent spring. There’s no doubt this process has taken a toll on the team. To what extent, I have no idea. TC isn’t really place kids transfer out of, but you never know. As for McFarland, he seemed to be starting some good at PHS, so it’s probably a good hire, especially this late in the game. Now the question is WHAT THE HECK DOES PHS DO?

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Deadspin weighs in on jewelry snafu, and it’s not pretty

There are well over 32,000 views on this particular topic at Deadspin.com, the edgy website responsible for posting drunken photos of Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton and compromising photos of former USC quarterback Matt Leinart. The headline alone tells you where one editor stands on this issue: Awesome Track Coach Wins League Championship By Disqualifying Girl For Friendship Bracelet.

Recap: South Pasadena’s Robin Laird thought she won meet April 29 with final pole vault. But opposing coach pointed out she had string friendship bracelet against rules. Laird was disqualified on technicality, giving Monrovia the victory and league title.

Dashiell Bennett, contributing editor at Deadspin.com, would have handled it this way:


… You could have taken her aside at any point of the day and said “You know what? That’s illegal. You should probably take that off.” If you truly didn’t notice the bracelet until after the vault–which let’s be honest, is highly unlikely, since that happened to be the most opportune time to act–you were not required to say anything. You could have still taught her the rule, while also teaching her another lesson about sportsmanship and magnanimity. No one believes that you feel bad, because if you did, you would have kept your mouth shut.

She broke a rule. Not a real sporting rule, like a foot fault or illegal equipment, but she did break one and if you’re okay with winning that way, be my guest. Your own athletic director said it was nothing to be proud of, but it’s a rough world out there, isn’t it?

There feelings here in the newsroom are mixed, one former track writer siding with Mike Knowles, saying rules are rules and must be followed to the last detail. I’m all for rules, too, but my gut tells me this all could have been prevented one way or another, no matter what way you look at it.

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Baseball: Arcadia, Gabrielino clinch league titles Tuesday

Arcadia beats Glendale 14-3 to go 13-0 in the Pacific League heading into the league finale on the road at rival Crescenta Valley. I was supposed to have Friday off because of a hectic schedule this week, but I adjusted my schedule a bit to make sure our presence is there and capture history in the making. I really hope, though, we’re not a bad omen by writing so much about it this week. I hear it’s taco night at CV, true? Anyway, I’m waiting to see on MaxPreps whether Alhambra also clinched its sixth straight Almont League title, but no result just yet as I write this at 12:08 a.m.

After a rough start to the season, getting battered around and run up on, Gabrielino gets back into form just in time to win its fourth straight Mission Valley League title with a 6-1 win over El Monte. Sophomore pitching sensation Angel Acosta broke the single-season school record with his ninth win of the season. He threw six innings and struck out 11 while giving up only three hits. Acosta also broke the single-season hits mark with 33. Catcher Keith Clapp broke the school RBI mark with 25 after going 2 for 3 with three RBIs, which included an RBI double, a squeeze and an RBI single.

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Softball: La Caada’s Edwards powers past competition

La Caada’s Anna Edwards is arguably the area’s most feared power hitter. She’s batting .569 (44th in the nation among juniors) with 41 hits, 30 RBIs, nine home runs (tied for fifth in the nation among juniors), seven doubles and one triple. She homered twice three games into the season against Baldwin Park and homered took San Marino’s Michelle Floyd deep in the second meeting. In fact, Edwards has almost single handedly led the Spartans to wins over rival San Marino.

Round 1: Edwards went 2 for 2 and scored the winning run in the first to lead the Spartans to a 1-0 win.

Round 2: Edwards went 2 for 3 with two runs scored, an RBI and a solo home run to lead the Spartans to a 2-0 win.

Round 3: Edwards went 0 for 3 in the Spartans’ 2-0 loss.

In 72 at-bats, Edwards has struck out only four times and been walked 12 times. She’s stolen 14 bases in 14 attempts, and the junior leads her team in batting average, on-base percentage (.644) and slugging percentage (1.069), leaving little doubt that Edwards truly is one of the best.

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