PARCHMENT, Mich. – A Michigan high school runner who finished second in a state championship race was disqualified for expressing four-letter words of joy as he crossed the finish line.
Garrett Winter, a senior at Parchment High School, ran the 3.1-mile course in 15 minutes, 27 seconds, a personal best. But officials said his profanities Saturday at the end of the Division 2 race violated a national rule that governs conduct in high school running.
Cody Inglis, assistant director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association, said Winter's words could be heard 50 yards away.
“It's a horrible thing,” Inglis told MLive.com, referring to the disqualification. "Nobody takes any pride or joy in this, but the fact is that the rule was enforced.”
Winter said his second-place finish — “the race of my life” — was the result of rigorous training.
“As I crossed the finish line, my emotions got the best of me,” Winter said. “I swore in excitement of what I had just accomplished. I swore when I finished the race and saw the time. I did not swear at anyone. I swore out of jubilation with pure adrenaline and emotion.”
He said he regretted putting race officials “in the position to make this call.”