A clerical, man-made error kept soon-to-be Colorado State University sophomore Aaliyah Pete from competing in the shot put competition at Friday’s IAAF World Junior Championships.
“Aaliyah is heartbroken,” stated head coach Brian Bedard in a press release. “She took great pride in representing team USA and looked forward to competing against world-class competition.”
Pete finished second at the USA Junior Championships earlier this month, with a throw of 16.33m/53 feet and 7 inches, which qualified her for the event. The product of Omaha, Nebraska finished her rookie year at CSU with a Mountain West title in the outdoor shot put, qualified for the NCAA first round in both the shot put and the discus and earned an honorable mention All-America nod in the shot put in June.
“Unfortunately, the team staff made a huge mistake by declaring the alternate instead of Aaliyah,” stated Bedard. “They are very apologetic, but that won’t get her in the meet. The IAAF wouldn’t bend on declaration procedures.“
Friday morning, USATF issued the statement before the competition began.
“This was a case of human error that resulted in a deserving young woman missing an opportunity to compete on the international stage,” stated USATF CEO Max Siegel. “We are speaking with team staff to determine what happened, and have expressed our deepest regrets to Ms. Pete and her coach.”
Collegian Managing Editor Lawrence Lam can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.