July 25, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. - A clerical error by USA Track & Field has resulted in Colorado state sophomore-to-be Aaliyah Pete being left out of the shot put field at Friday's IAAF World Junior Championships at Hayward Field.
Pete, who finished second at the USA Junior Championships earlier this month to qualify for the event, was in Oregon with Head Coach Brian Bedard when they learned of the error late Thursday.
"Aaliyah is heart-broken," said Bedard. "She took great pride in representing team USA and looked forward to competing against world class competition. Unfortunately, the team staff made a huge mistake by declaring the alternate instead of Aaliyah. They are very apologetic but that won't get her in the meet. The IAAF wouldn't bend on declaration procedures. Aaliyah was robbed of a great life experience and instead will have to deal with extreme disappointment in a situation totally out of her control."
The Omaha, Neb., native just completed a phenomenal rookie year at CSU, earning a Mountain West title in the outdoor shot put, and qualifying for the NCAA first round in both the shot put and the discus. She ended the regular season with an honorable mention All-America nod in the shot put in June.
The USATF issued a statement Friday morning before competition began. In it CEO Max Siegel expressed his condolences toward the Rams' standout thrower. "This was a case of human error that resulted in a deserving young woman missing an opportunity to compete on the international stage," Siegel said. "We are speaking with Team staff to determine what happened and have expressed our deepest regrets to Ms. Pete and her coach."
The full statement can be found here.
"She has had a remarkable year for CSU," added Bedard. "She broke the frosh record for indoor shot, nearly broke the all-time outdoor shot record and she set the frosh record in the discus."
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