Los Angeles News

HS track team gets disqualified over bracelet

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

An emotional victory suddenly turned to defeat for the South Pasadena Girls Track Team. South Pasadena was battling Monrovia for the league title. It all came down to the pole vault event that ended with a surprising outcome.

"I had never had so much adrenalin running through me and been so nervous and excited," said Robin Laird.

Robin is a senior at South Pasadena High and is part of the track team. She was disqualified from the league championship tournament when she participated in the pole vault tournament. If she had not been disqualified, her school would have been the league champ, defeating their rival Monrovia High School.

"Here I am. I just made the jump to win our team, the league championship, and then the next thing is I'm crying. It's just a crazy scenario," said Robin.

Her heroic victory jump was disqualified after the Monrovia coach pointed to a friendship bracelet that she was wearing.

"It is just a simple woven pattern made of thread," said Robin.

Jewelry is not allowed according to the rules. But the South Pasadena Athletic director Ralph Pannaro has had questions. "The real controversy came about the definition of jewelry and that's where this kind of has taken off," said Pannaro.

"I literally had not taken it off since November when I got it so that means every single meet I have been in I have had it on," Robin.

Now there are lots of questions. When did the opposing coach notice it? Could he have called it before she jumped? The incident is drawing nationwide media attention with Robin Laird at the eye of this high school competition storm. Monrovia High declined to comment after multiple calls to the principal. Robin Laird says though that she is ready to move on.

"I think we should just really look at it as, looking towards the future," said Robin.

Laird wants no challenges, no lawsuits or reversal of the decision.

"This is a competition and sometimes they don't go your way and that's when you just need to suck it up and move forward I guess," said Robin.

Robin is carrying on. She will be competing this weekend at the CIF prelims in Orange County. In the meantime, administrators at Monrovia High School are seeking a meeting with the administrators at South Pasadena High regarding the incident.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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