Marmonte League Finals - Girls 4x100 Relay where Calabasas runs a state-leading 45.95.
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The Calabasas girls track team, a favorite to win CIF Southern Section Division 2 and CIF State Championship team titles, has been penalized for violation of participation rules, costing the Coyotes their state-leading 4x100 meter relay team, their 4x400 meter relay team and two key multiple-event athletes, according to a newspaper report.
Sophomore Bella Witt and senior Kyla Robinson-Hubbard--two of the state's elite hurdlers--participated in five events over the two-day Marmonte League prelims and finals--including the 4x100 relay--and have been disqualified from further participation, which begins with Saturday's CIF-SS Division 2 preliminaries at Moorpark HS.
National Federation of High Schools rules allow athletes to participate in a maximum of four events in any single meet. League preliminaries and finals are considered one meet.
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The Los Angeles Daily News first reported the story. CIF-SS Assistant Commissioner Thom Simmons said the section office informed the Marmonte League of the NFHS rule (Section 4, Article 2). He referred further media questions to the league.
MileSplitCA subsequently reached out the league president Eric Bergmann and league compliance officer Gary Walin for further information.
Nowling, the defending state champion in the 100m (and current CA leader) who also advanced to the CIF-SS D2 Prelims in the 200, and Waite, a qualifier in the 100, remain eligible.
Over the course of the two-day league finals, Witt competed in the 200m prelims (but not finals), 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and both relays. Robinson-Hubbard ran in the 100, 400 prelims (but not finals), 300 hurdles, and both relays.
Witt, a transfer from Birmingham Charter in the LA City Section where she won the 100 hurdles title as a freshman, has the state's No. 2 time in that event (13.63, a time that ranks ninth nationally). She also qualified in the 300 hurdles with the No. 3 qualifying time (44.50). Her 43.33 season best ranks CA No. 5.
Robinson-Hubbard was second at the CIF-State Championships last year in the 300 hurdles and the favorite to win this year. Her season-best time of 42.25 ranks second in CA and 11th nationally. Robinson-Hubbard had also qualified in the 100m where her wind-aided 11.87 (2.6) ranks tied for sixth in CA for all-condition times.
The 4x400 Relay team ran a season best 3:52.79 for second at the league finals. That time ranks CA No. 10.
In a recent MileSplitCA article projecting team scores for all four CIF-SS division finals, the girls team at Calabasas was projected to score between 105-110 points at the divisional finals and win the team title by 20-25 points. No other girls team across the four divisions was projected to score more than 90 points.
The Daily News reported that "Calabasas athletic director Jon Palarz said the ambiguity came from the Calabasas track and field coaching staff's misconception that the Marmonte League prelims and finals were two separate meets, which took place on Tuesday and Friday, respectively."
Also according to the Daily News report, "in a Marmonte League meeting Wednesday morning, Palarz said that the league was willing to scratch the team's 4×400 relay team instead of the 4x100, but that the CIF Southern Section would not allow it."
In an emailed response, Walin, the assistant principal and athletic director at Thousand Oaks HS who serves as the league's compliance officer, confirmed that the 4x400 relay team was also disqualified, no other Calabasas athletes were disqualified, and that the league would not replace the vacated qualifying spots.