A Mounds View junior who owns the state's top high jump mark this season will be allowed to compete at the state meet later this week after his disqualification from last week's section meet was successfully appealed.
Chris Johnston, who has jumped 6 feet, 8 inches, was disqualified during last week's Section 5 meet because a teammate was filming Johnston's jumps from a restricted area.
Johnston's mark of 6-5 would have won the event. Instead, Jason Lilja of Coon Rapids and Kunle Ayinde of Blaine qualified for state with jumps of 6-3.
But the high jump official did not report Johnston's disqualification to the meet referee. As a result, Mounds View's coaches did not get an attempt to appeal the ruling.
Representatives from Section 5 appealed to the Minnesota State High School League board of directors executive committee Tuesday, contending that Johnson should be allowed to compete at the state because he did not receive due process.
"We cannot overrule the decision of the officials," MSHSL executive director Dave Stead said. "But in this case, the rule book wasn't followed."
The decision has no impact on Lilja and Ayinde competing at the state meet, taking place Friday and Saturday at Hamline University.
DAVID LA VAQUE
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