Michigan Teen Ran a Dazzling Race. Then He Shouted

Garrett Winter set a personal record then was disqualified for swearing
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2021 12:18 PM CST
Updated Nov 14, 2021 9:15 AM CST

Garrett Winter's Saturday occupied two ends of the spectrum: the highest high and the lowest low. The Michigan senior came in second in the 5K at the state finals with a time of 15:27.89, a full 22 seconds shorter than the best such race he had ever run. It was good enough for second place, and the exuberant Parchment High School senior shouted five words—two of them swears that could be heard some 150 feet away. "I swore out of jubilation with pure adrenaline and emotion," he later said. Those two four-letter words disqualified him, taking away his all-state medal.

Michigan High School Athletic Association(MHSAA) assistant director Cody Inglis tells MLive it's a "horrible and unfortunate" twist of events, and "nobody takes any pride or joy in this, but the fact is that the rule was enforced." As for that rule, the Detroit News reports it's conduct-related, and is along the lines of what you'd expect: The relevant article in the National Federation of State High School Associations rulebook reads, "Unacceptable conduct by a competitor includes, but is not limited to, willful failure to follow the directions of a meet official, using profanity that is not directed at someone or any action which could bring discredit to the individual of his or her school."

His school appealed on his behalf but was unsuccessful, with the MHSAA saying its hands were tied because the rule says someone who displays such conduct "shall" be disqualified, not "may." Parchment, for its part, says it may make his 15:27.89 finish the new school record anyway. (This disqualified marathoner's story has a tragic ending.)

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