Controversy delays meet

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 27, 2001


PHOTO: Belle Terre assistant coach Corey Laborde looks towards the announcers booth at Thursday’s Swim meet. (Staff Photo by J. Edmund Barnes) Thursday night’s swim meet between the Belle Terre Pirahanas and the Larayo Barracudas was going fine until Belle Terre experienced an ironic case of history repeating itself. As the 15-18-year-old girls medley relay was finishing up, a Larayo entrant from the 8-year-old freestyle relay dove into the pool as the last segment of the Larayo medley relay team was finished the race. Meet rules prohibit different racers of the same team from being in the water at the same time. But the irony of the moment was that Belle Terre had been in the exact same situation during last years meet – and been disqualified from the event. Belle Terre lost that meet. Larayo was not disqualified from the event, and went on to win the meet by 28 points. Belle Terre assistant coach Corey Laborde said that it was like “fighting history.” Larayo head coach Michelle Jensen said that the Larayo entrant in the 7-8 -year-old freestyle relay got confused. But to Jensen, the point was moot. “I argued that the race was over,” said Jensen. “The Belle Terre girl had already touched the wall.” Jensen said she talked to the stroke judge, who had ruled that the race was over. Later, she heard her team had been disqualified from the event. Still later, she learned that her team had not been disqualified from the event. The arguing and controversy over the stroke judge’s decision stalled the already slow meet, and the last events weren’t finished until 11:45 p.m. Kelly Hane had brought her son Albert and daughter Laura out to the meet, where they were to compete for Belle Terre. She said that her children had fallen asleep during the lengthy delay, and that she had to wake Albert up so that he could compete in his race. Hane said that some of the kids didn’t know until morning who had won the meet. “It’s funny how it gets so competitive, but its just a kid’s swim team.” When asked for a comment, Belle Terre head coach Monica Scioneaux said simply that Larayo had won the meet.