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MEAC explains why Kai Cole was disqualified from Olympic trials

MEAC explains why Kai Cole was disqualified from Olympic trials

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference responded to Norfolk State sprinter Kai Cole’s claim that the conference failed to sanction an event that ultimately disqualified him from Olympic trial competition.

“The MEAC was recently informed that our multiple appeals submitted to have Kai Cole approved to compete at this year’s USATF Olympic Trials were denied by USATF, despite his posting an automatic qualifying time at the MEAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships,” the MEAC statement began. “Although the MEAC Outdoor Track and Field Championship remains an official NCAA Division-I Championship event, USATF policy changes implemented this year resulted in the event not being officially sanctioned by USATF, making all competition results ineligible for Olympic trial qualification.”

The policy changes were not mentioned in the statement, though USATF has a full page on its website dedicated to sanctioning procedures.

Among the requirements outlined by USA Track and Field is stating that it “is best practice to have your event sanctioned prior to opening participant registration for your event, but certainly no later than thirty (30) days prior to your Event. This will allow you to collect the required USATF Participant Waiver and Release of Liability during the registration process. Any sanction applications completed less than thirty (30) days prior to the event start date will incur late fees.”

The conference went on to say, “We understand Kai’s frustration and took all available steps to rectify the situation so he could compete in the Olympic trials – an opportunity he clearly deserves.”

The MEAC concluded by saying, “The MEAC fully supports our member institutions and student athletes as they pursue their dreams and strive for excellence. We are disappointed by USATF’s decision and are working to ensure our track and field championships are USATF-sanctioned events moving forward.

The conference said they would have no further comment on the matter.

Cole, a fifth-year senior, ran a conference-best 10.05 in the 100-meter dash, which would have placed him in qualifying position.

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