Belt second in long jump
Tone Belt nearly pulled off the long jump double, winning both the NCAA Division 1 indoor and outdoor titles. His jump at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships this past weekend in Sacramento, Calif. of 25 feet 2.5 inches into a gusty headwind tied the mark of Cal State Northridge's Dashalle Andrews. However Andrews won the title by having the second longest measured jump of the two.
Belt did not have a second jump to measure, as he fouled on his other five attempts, though his final jump was shroud in controversy.
Belt's sixth and final attempt in the jump was ruled a foul, which was immediately protested by Belt and his coach Ron Mann. They requested that a provisional measurement of the leap be taken. According to Rule 4, Article 6b of the 2007 NCAA Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track and Field Rule Book, "Any such protest may be immediate and oral by a competitor or competitor's coach in order to protect and preserve evidence, but must be submitted in writing by a coach to the protest table within the allotted time."
The long jump official denied the request by both Mann and Belt and the sand in the pit was immediately raked and leveled making it impossible to determine the distance on Belt's potential title-winning leap, as well as limiting the outcome of a potential protest of the foul call. Mann immediately made his way to the protest tent and officially protested the actions of the official in denying the provisional measurement.
Two hours later, more than an hour after the completion of the day's final event, the head meet referee agreed with Mann that "...the official should have followed procedures and measured the jump. The jump was ruled a foul, a judgement call, and therefore it remains a foul."
Mann filed an official protest with the "games committee," believing the video evidence he had to support the claim would prove his point. However the protest was denied because the rule states that, "Evidence specifically excluded is all visual material, except that produced by official photo-timing and official video designated by the games committee before the meet. As such, this jury will not review personal video. Appeal denied."
Mann accepted the ruling though he felt for Belt. "Of course it is still painful because I hurt for the kid," Mann said. "At the same time it is part of being involved in sports. It's the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. What can you do? We'll honor the officials that run the meet. I followed all the procedures to file a protest, but we were denied."
Belt, who also competed in the high jump but failed to place in the top six, helped lead Louisville to a seventh place team finish, the highest in school history.