June 4, 2009
By Mal Boright
With some athletes qualified for the New England Track and Field Meet on June 13, the Champlain Valley Union High track and field team this week was preparing for Saturday’s Vermont State Meet at Burlington High School, starting at 9:30 a.m.
The New Englands will be at the Burlington facility June 13 and will include at least eight CVU performers as a result of this past Saturday’s Essex Invitationals.
Upwards of 900 of the state’s best high school stars turned out for the heralded competition, in which the top six finishers in each event qualify for the New Englands.
Unfortunately, the CVU girls 4-by-800 relay team was disqualified due to an earring worn by one of the runners after the Redhawks had dashed to victory by some 20 seconds over second place Middlebury Union High, which was then awarded the ribbon.
Burlington High’s Minh John Lu was also disqualified after winning the long jump because of company logos on his shorts. Tuesday, BHS officials launched a protest.
CVU Athletic Director Kevin Riell said Wednesday morning that CVU would also protest. Riell said he hopes to get the rules modified.
According to track coach Eli Enman, CVU is sending a letter to the Vermont Principals’ Association asking for the rule to be changed.
He said grounds for reconsideration could lie in the fact that there are differences in the way the rules are enforced.
“There have been cases where an athlete wearing jewelry has been asked to discard it so that they will not be disqualified,” the coach said.
Enman said in this instance the offending piece was “a small stud earring that the athlete forgot to take out.”
The National Federation of High School Athletics rules forbid logos and/or jewelry being worn by any performers.
The Vermont Principals’ Association is looking into the disqualifications.
The Sulva brothers, Tony and Matt, led the CVU teams Saturday. Tony scored a victory in the 1,600 run, finished fourth in the 800 and then joined brother Matt, Zak Pete, and Jason Clairmont in capturing the 4-by-800 relay.
Matt Sulva was second in the 800, losing by some three seconds to Mount Mansfield Union’s Adron Pittman, who won in a meet record time of 1:55.20.
The 4-by-400 team took second place.
New England qualifiers among the girls were Maddy Christian and Virginia Farley, who finished third and fourth in the 1,600 and fourth and fifth in the 3,200.
In the field events, Haleigh Smith took fifth in the triple jump and Maya Grevatt was sixth in pole vault.