Hubler cleared to compete in Great Southwest Track Classic
Despite a display of unsportsmanship during the medal ceremony at last week’s Nevada high school track and field championships in Sparks, South Tahoe High triple jumper Elliott Hubler will attend the Great Southwest Track Classic event this weekend in Phoenix, Ariz.
According to South Tahoe officials, Hubler’s highly visible refusal to accept a second-place award drew criticism from a wide array of coaches and event spectators.
But the decision to keep Hubler from competing at the major track meet seemed to be inappropriate, considering the collegiate implications involved with the meet, according to a school official.
In addition, since it is an invitational meet and not affiliated with Nevada high school sports directly, Hubler’s competitive status is not in the hands of South Tahoe High or Nevada Interscholastic Athletics Association administrators.
“We’ve taken steps to make sure Elliott understands the severity of his actions. But some options are still open,” said Frank Kovac, South Tahoe athletic director.
Kovac and South Tahoe coach Rick Brown both said they’d received “numerous” inquiries regarding Hubler’s actions. One possible sanction, according to unofficial reports, would strip Hubler of the state second-place medal.
“Elliott is a kid and made a childish mistake,” Brown said. “While it’s important he knows the ramifications of what he did – that he doesn’t enjoy individualistic freedom when he puts on a South Tahoe jersey – I’m pleased to see that his future is not going to be in jeopardy by an untimely mistake.
“This meet brings together the best athletes from seven states. By performing well, he can catch a scout’s eye.”
Hubler, who entered the Nevada finals as the state’s No. 1 jumper, could only muster a second-place leap. Upset, he refused to accept the award and acted in a way that detracted from the ceremony, especially for the Cimarron-Memorial High winner, according to spectators.
Hubler has since authored a letter of apology, which according to him was addressed to, “Whom it may concern.” School officials received the letter and forwarded a copy to Cimarron High. But officials also confirmed Thursday that further disciplinary actions were possible, although no specifics were mentioned.
“If they take (the medal) away, I wouldn’t fully understand it going to that extent. I did earn second place, as much as I didn’t want it then,” Hubler said. “It’s taught me you can be upset but at least be gracious about it. I’m not a bad person. I just made a mistake and I’m sorry.”
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