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Oregon sprinter disqualified for violating 'jewelry rule' with athletic support band

Eugene (Ore.) Churchill High senior track star Spenser Schmidt competes in the long jump earlier this season. (RunnerSpace.com)
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Eugene (Ore.) Churchill High senior track star Spenser Schmidt competes in the long jump earlier this season. (RunnerSpace.com)

An Oregon high school track star is awaiting his state meet fate after being disqualified for violating a "jewelry rule" by entering the track with an athletic support band around his wrist.

Eugene (Ore.) Churchill High senior sprinter Spenser Schmidt entered the starting block area at the Midwestern League championships with a Nike band wrapped around his wrist, according to The Oregonian. The band, meant to treat patellar tendonitis and Osgood-Schlatter disease, was not yet around his knee, where he has worn it previously this season (see him here at April's Oregon Relays).

However, meet officials reportedly deemed the band an item of jewelry and disqualified Schmidt from the 100-meter competition. He had received an earlier warning regarding a chain around his neck upon checking into the meet. The National Federation of High School Associations "jewelry rule" states: "For the first violation, the competitor shall be required to remove the jewelry before further competition and be issued a warning that a subsequent violation shall result in a disqualification from the event."

Schmidt posted a picture of the band on Twitter along with his sentiments: "All of this talk over this."

Schmidt currently owns the fastest 100 time of the season in Oregon's Class 5A with a time of 10.46 seconds, according to The Oregonian. While he did qualify for the state meet in both the 200 and long jump, he would not be able to compete in the 100 with a qualifying performance at the league meet.

A shadow of hope still remains for Schmidt. Relaying a conversation he had with meet director Audrea Shelley, who was reportedly occupied elsewhere during Schmidt's race, Churchill coach George Walcott told The Oregonian his star sprinter would be allowed to run a preliminary heat by himself on Friday, the second day of the meet's competition. As The Register-Guard notes, Schmidt would have to eclipse North Eugene sophomore Zach Haxby's eighth-place time of 11.65 seconds in order to qualify.

However, Shelley told The Register-Guard, "It's not a done deal." She will reportedly meet with meet, school and state association officials before making her decision. “You of course want to err on the side of the student,” Shelley added. “We also want to make sure the rules are followed and follow the protocol.”

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