This thread is running in Miguel Melendez’s Star-News blog, I just had to share it with you. Apparently Monrovia called a South Pasadena pole vaulter for wearing a friendship bracelet, which cost South Pasadena the league title … read on…By the way, shouldn’t high school officials remind participants to take off jewelry before events start? If you’re a coach (from any school) and you see this, shouldn’t you walk up and remind the person to take that off. To me that’s sportsmanship, not waiting until the end of the competition to call someone on a technicality that you probably knew all along that you could call at anytime.
Deadspin’s reaction from this story was harsh, so harsh in fact I couldn’t print it, but read on with caution if you wish.
Even Sports Illustrated chimed in:
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.
Our Keith Lair covered the event:
There likely will be very little friendship when the South Pasadena and Monrovia high school track and field teams meet next time.
That’s because a friendship bracelet decided the Rio Hondo League girls title.
With the pole vault deciding Thursday’s dual meet, Monrovia needed at least a second-place finish to claim its first league title.
South Pasadena’s Rachel Ma and Monrovia’s Samantha Boltz and Gabby McBride all cleared 7-0. South Pasadena’s Robin Laird, the Tigers’ best pole vaulter, passed at the height.
With a crosswind and both teams watching, cheering wildly on makes and groaning on misses, Laird easily cleared 7-6. Monrovia co-coach Mike Knowles pointed out Laird was wearing a friendship bracelet. Any jewelry calls for automatic disqualification. The coaches called CIF-Southern Section officials to confirm the disqualification.
“I hate that,” Knowles said. “I didn’t want to do that. I’ve lost a CIF title because a girl had one diamond earring she forgot to take out in the 4 by 400 relay.”
Laird’s disqualification gave the Wildcats a 65-62 win.
Migue Melendez’s take: Winning at all costs? I’m not a fan of it, and in this particular case I was not a fan of how Monrovia won the league title. Clearly, Laird won the event in dominating fashion. According to the Sports Illustrated report, South Pasadena coach PJ Hernandez asked Monrovia coach Mike Knowles “you really want it to come down to this?” I know, rules are rules, but c’mon. Really?