High school runner disqualified from state meet for uttering joyful profanity at finish

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
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PARCHMENT, Mich. – A 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 in Michigan, 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.”