The Mission Viejo girls' track and field team lost a South Coast League dual meet for the first time since 1983 when a third-place triple jumper was disqualified for a jewelry violation. The culprit? A beaded pink anklet.
Mission Viejo had just posted an upset victory over visiting Dana Point Dana Hills in the final running event, the 1,600-meter relay, on Wednesday to keep its hopes alive.
Attention turned to the only competition in progress, the triple jump, where Chelsea Rinderspacher recorded a personal-best mark on her final attempt, moving the Diablos into a 68-68 tie. Shortly afterward, Dana Hills Coach Rex Hall alerted Mission Viejo Coach Fred Almond of the jewelry violation.
"He pointed out a string down by her ankle," Almond said.
She was disqualified, resulting in a 69-67 victory for Dana Hills.
"The little girl is absolutely distraught," said Almond, the Diablos' coach since 1981. "I called her at home and told her she really did come through with a great performance."
The ending was similar to the teams' dual meet in 2001, when the Dana Hills shotputters were disqualified at the end of the meet for using a shot that weighed 13 ounces less than required, nullifying a 68-68 tie and giving the Diablos a 69-67 victory.
Almond saw the latest event differently from the one four years ago, but he's ready to move on. "I'm not going to play sour grapes," he said.
Santa Margarita forward Amy Rodriguez, the only high school athlete on the U.S. national team, has been selected national girls' soccer player of the year by Parade magazine.
The full list of All-American players, which includes Southland standouts Alexa Orand, Kiki Bosio, Whitney Engen, Courtney Lewis, Kasey Moore and Kelsey Davis, will appear in Parade on May 8.