Westfield granted a do over in 4x1,600


blog about the decison to give Westfield a re-run

Blog about the result of the re-run


how the heck can an official lose track of laps in a four-x-mile?

i would have guessed even NJSIAA officials aren’t that freaking incompetent



the fact that that cranford coach is upset is absurd his team didnt win fairly at all westfield had to run an extra lap which probably gave them an extra 70 seconds


To finalize the results from last week’s Union County Relays.
Day 2 Results (including 4x1600 and final team scores)

The time from today’s race was converted to FAT.

I’m sure Mr. Lambert will have more on the topic so I will leave the rest to him.


Blog abut today’s re-run


While I think it’s likely that Westfield would have won in the original meet, I think the decision to rerun the race on a different day alone was absurd. Westfield had all the advantages of a better weather day, running fresh and essentially had a time trial workout where they knew EXACTLY what they had to do. Either the race should have been thrown out completely or every team in the race should have been invited to re-run the race. The Cranford coach is absolutely correct unless the Westfield team was prevented from taking the baton, the kid should have grabbed the stick after the right number of laps and then cried bloody murder after the race. The other teams in the race did nothing wrong and were penalized by an officials mistake. The referee may have had discretionary powers but he showed incredibly poor judgment in only allowing Westfield to re-run. And duplicate gold medals should have been awarded even though the points were changed. A horrible job all around!!!


yeah, totally agree with paul … don’t think the cranford coach needed to single out the westfield kid quite the way he did, but i can understand his frustration


Eh I’m not sure Paul. A few years back we went to the Willingboro Dance Party … I mean relays, and we were on the wrong side of a similar situation. Another team checked in late and were allowed to run the 4x8 on their own after we had won the event solo(we lapped the only other team in the race) and they ran about a second faster … so I get the Cranford coach’s frustration - I was beside myself on that day.

However, in this situation the official screwed up, and good for him for admitting it. Anyone who coaches, runs, or attends meet around JNJ knows those times are FEW and far between. As far as the kid going out and taking the stick despite the officials directions??? He was following the directions of the authority on the track. Easy for us to say as adults in hindsight, but for a kid in mid-competition who’s trying not to get his team DQ’d … he’s going to follow the officials instructions. Waether is a valid point … but a 4x1600 solo is tough to say the least, and it was a significant margin. Should Cranford have been allowed to race again? yeah. But the Westfield kids shouldn’t be punished over this. Good for those guys for manning up and doing it solo by a substantial margin. Cranford, Westwood and all will move on to bigger and better things. Good luck to all for the remainder of the season … including those with the unenviable task of counting to 4 …


You’re kidding. You know better than this. The official tells the kid not to get on the track, not to take the handoff, the athlete cannot over rule him and take the handoff. This is entirely the official’s fault (I’m sure whoever he is feels as badly as can be) but the athlete cannot be held at fault. Does it suck for everyone? Yeah it does and there is no good cure for it but the Cranford coach shows less class than he should in complaining about it and refusing to take the silver medals. Last year when a coach wouldn’t take the second plce trophy at a meet (threw it in the garbage is the story I heard) he was excommunicated for two meets. Not saying that should happen here but Westfield was WAY ahead in this race according to Lambert so how can the Cranford coach complain?

Well, I guess he can because he is.


Ok, hypothetically what would have happened to the kid if he insisted that he knew the situation for his team (who is counting for several teams at once) and tried to (respectfully) force the issue?

I’ve seen this happen in indoor meets and the teams got DQ-ed because an official either told runners to go out early or held them (I forget, but I think it was the former).

Is it in fact the official’s responsibility to tell them where and when to stand or is it just a courtesy? I know that’s what they do for relays but is it actually a rule or do they just do it to (ideally) make things work more smoothly and because that’s just what they’ve always done? At many meets the officials keep kids from walking past the timer or whatever and I assume that’s technically the timing company’s responsibility but the officials are just trying to help. Is this a case like that?


Just for clarification, there are multiple things among this incident that are being twisted and tangled. I want to give a kudos to Lambert for providing great information on this incident (and for getting me into college :wink: ), but the core argument behind what happened is whether or not an official actually ordered the Westfield runner to take the exchange or not.

It is the belief of our coaching staff and team that this never happened.
Standing at the scene of the whole incident, this is what I saw:

The third leg of Westfield was nowhere near the exchange zone as he was taking in some striders. The only error of the officials was that an incorrect lap number was shown, but this was likely due to runners being lapped. As Westfield’s second leg approached, he confusingly waved but saw no one there to take the baton. (NOTE: The officials were actually holding up a card with a number on it, instead of the using their fingers).

My second leg and a charging Everett Price from New Providence were about 40 meters back of Westfield and our teams’ third legs were in place to receive their batons. Westfield’s second leg, seeing no one there to receive the baton confusingly continued onto a fifth lap, while my third leg and New Providence’s third leg took their exchanges and continued on.

After the race ended, the meet continued on and there was no mention of any type of discussion regarding a re-run. It wasn’t until the end of the meet, where we heard that the race was going to be re-run in the circumstances that it was. Obviously, we (in addition to coaches from other schools) were upset, and looked to figure out why this was happening.

Our kids knew going into the race that 99 out of 100 times, Westfield was going to win…but we always stress that races aren’t run on paper. To our kids and us as coaches, we look at this whole incident as a teachable moment, and look forward to finishing this season with the same goals we had in mind.

-Galen “Ex-communicate-us” Johnson :slight_smile:


Are you trying to say that an official did not tell the Westfield 3rd leg not to take the exchange? If so then you’re just straight up wrong. Read Lambert’s article, the official told the meet director he made a mistake, that is why a re-run was allowed.

If not that’s not what you’re saying that forgive me for misinterpreting and please clarify.

Edit: Are you affiliated with Cranford? or another Union County School?


My position on the race results stands. Either the race should have been rerun in its entirety with all teams invited or vacated. To allow Westfield a rerun alone is unfair to the other teams that were able to complete the race without a problem. If indeed the Westfield runner was told not to take the baton (and why would an official do that? If the kid took it too early that a dq would ensue – its npt up to the officials to instruct the kids, just to line them up there) then westfield was unfairly penalized and the entire race was tainted and should be rerun. If the Westfield runner was not told not to take the baton and just didn’t (as some of the eyewitness comments seem to indicate) then its Westfield’s mistake and they should be dqd. Either way the final result was absurd and the decision for a solo rerun is absurd.


Officials tell athletes when to take the baton all the time. I am not saying that happened or didn’t happen with this relay; I wasn’t there but it does happen all the time.


I wasn’t there either but the final result is absurd. Obviously a kid can’t disobey an official’s order (if there was one) but why should an official tell a kid ever what to do or not to do. The kid should do what he thinks is proper and then the official decides whether it was.


Incidentally Joe all NJIC divisions are up at Fraulo and the Twin Boro and County Seat stuff is up at bergentrack.com. Are u working Big Norths?


I was not even going to comment on this, as it all seems to wahcked to me.

But a fresh re run by one team as a remedy? I cannot fathom that, regardless of what the rules allow for an out.

The issue is maybe Westfield beats them 10 out of 10 times, but you have guys running who are on doubles etc, that whole dynamic is completely changed when this is allowed. it is NO LONGER THE SAME EVENT even.

Just my 2 cents as I do not think everyone could possibly have been accomodated with what happened.


I agree that having Westfield run alone was nuts but given the fact that the error was made (the officials admitted it or the appeal would not even have been considered) what else were they to do? Cranford and the rest of the teams in that race weren’t about to re-run it. King is right (write this date down in history - we agree on something!:smiley: ); there was no way to accomodate everyone.

Why should an official tell a kid what to do? You’re kidding, right?

No, not working Big North. Wasn’t asked as I guess they had enough officials. Working a dual meet at Colts Neck today.

Thanks on the results thing. Results for County Seat and the NJIC meets are up at www.NJRunners.com and are included in my week in review article.

And no, I had no commentary on the announcing the first two days of the NJIC meets.:smiley:


hey they got what they paid for!!!


i meant that in that situation, the official is there more as a marshall and there fore if the kid chooses to take the baton a lap early it’s on him and his team will be dqd. The official should not stop him. With some officials the kids know more than the officials do!!! (insertsmilie here)