Pole vaulter’s curse word costs team state track title

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

When Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola High pole vaulter Evan Barr, who you can see pictured in a practice below, failed to clear his final height at the California state track and field meet, he was understandably disappointed. The miss cost him an individual state title and ensured he would finish in third place instead.

Loyola pole vaulter Evan Barr
Loyola pole vaulter Evan Barr

Yet, to say that he expressed that disappointment in an inappropriate way is a bit of an understatement. As it turns out, his reaction cost Barr another state title as well.

After falling short of clearing the bar, Barr, whom you can see competing at the 2011 California Relays (not the state championship meet) in this video, let out a loud expletive. According to the Los Angeles Times, the curse word inspired judges to disqualify Barr from the event, with his points taken away from Loyola's team total.

That proved to be incredibly costly, as the adjusted points total cost Loyola a state track and field title. Instead, the Cubs finished second, with 32 points, behind Long Beach (Calif.) Poly High's 35 points.

"He uttered a profanity out of frustration, and the officials thought it was significant to disqualify him," Loyola track and field coach Mike Porterfield told the Times. "He apologized immediately after he said it."

Apologies weren't enough to save Barr or his team from what has to go down as one of the more ignominious and costly setbacks in recent prep track and field history.

If nothing else, the star vaulter has provided a compelling case of the importance of minding ones manners in the heat of competition.

"You can't be profane in a competitive area," California state track and field rules interpreter Hal Harkness told the Times' Eric Sondheimer. "He made an unfortunate lapse in judgment."

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