Pole vaulter disqualified for wearing bracelet

Yahoo!Xtra Sport, Yahoo!Xtra Sport May 13, 2010, 1:03 pm
Pole vaulter disqualified for wearing bracelet

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An American high school pole vaulter has had a title stripped because she was wearing a friendship bracelet.

Competing for South Pasadena High in a Californian track meet last month, Robin Laird had looked to seal victory for her school when she took out the girl's pole vault event.

However the coach of another school quickly pointed out that a friendship bracelet around her wrist counted as jewellery which is banned from all competition.

Laird's winning vault didn't count and the complaining coach's school Monrovia High went onto the take out the title.

Mike Knowles, who made the protest, was adamant he made the right decision, SI.com reports.

"This is my 30th year coaching track," Knowles said after the track meet. "I know a lot of rules and regulations."

Knowles said it was unfortunate that Laird was disqualified but she had to learn a lesson.

"It's unfortunate for the young lady. But you've got to teach the kids that rules are rules."

"I didn't notice the bracelet until after she cleared the height and walked by," he insisted.

"[I had] a sinking feeling for her. I didn't want to have to do it. But it's a real rule - it's in the book - not something I made up. About 10 years ago, I had a girl who wore an earring in the 4x400 relay and it ended up costing us a CIF title. I feel bad for what happened, but I guarantee you she'll never wear jewellery during a track meet again."

South Pasadena coach P.J. Hernandez was shocked by the move.

"I said, 'Coach [Knowles], you really want it to come down to this?'" he said.

Laird was left in tears after the disqualification ripping the bracelet off her wrist.

"As of right now, I am not wearing one," she said. "Although I do still have a tan line on my wrist. That's my scarlet letter."

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