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Originally published June 11, 2012 at 07:02p.m., updated June 11, 2012 at 09:45a.m.

Keegan

Southern Miss track coach cheering for KU’s Andrea Geubelle in Olympic trials

Kansas' Andrea Geubelle leaps to the pit during the women's triple jump at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships, Saturday, June 9, 2012, at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.

Kansas' Andrea Geubelle leaps to the pit during the women's triple jump at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships, Saturday, June 9, 2012, at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.

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Kansas University junior Andrea Geubelle is looking ahead to the Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore. (June 23 preliminaries, June 25 finals), where she has a realistic chance to leap long enough to earn the chance to represent the United States in London (Aug. 3 preliminaries, Aug. 5 finals).

Southern Miss track coach Kevin Stephen, the man who filed the protest that resulted in Geubelle getting bumped from first to third in the NCAA outdoor track and field championships Saturday in Des Moines, said he’ll be among those rooting for her to make it.

“I’m amazed every time I see her jump,” Stephen said by phone late Sunday night. “I can’t believe that much power comes out of that small a frame. She’s amazingly talented. I think that American record is breakable. I would love to see her get six good attempts at breaking that record out there in Eugene.”

Stephen said he had “no malicious intent” when he filed the protest that Geubelle had fouled on her fourth attempt. He also said he did not wait until after the meet was over. (Rules allow for a protest to be filed up to 30 minutes after an event ends.)

Stephen said he was sitting in the stands, even with the point where the white (fair) and orange (foul) lines meet on the runway.

“The instant she jumped, I have no question in my mind it’s a foul,” Stephen said. “None. I’m thinking, ‘What recourse do I have to protect my athlete?’ After thinking about it for a few seconds, I decided to file a protest to go ahead and look at it. Even from the distance where I was, there was no question in my mind. She fouled by about a centimeter, which in foul terms is a mile.”

Stephen explained the timing of his protest.

“The way the championship is set up there is an actual protest tent,” he said. “You have 30 minutes to file a protest, but in this particular instance, I didn’t want to wait. I hurried over there. It took about seven minutes from the time she jumped to the time I filed the protest. What I wanted was an instant review. (A meet official) took my cell phone number and said he would call. I missed the fifth jump and before the sixth, I was sitting there waiting on a response.”

At that point, Stephen said, he found Kansas coach Stanley Redwine and told him, “I don’t want you to be blind-sided, and I want to let you know I filed a protest.”

Geubelle popped what she thought was the winning jump on her fourth attempt and fouled on her final two jumps. As soon as Southern Miss’ jumper, Ganna Demydova of the Ukraine, fouled on her final jump, Geubelle, standing alongside the runway, began pacing back and forth excitedly as a squatting photographer kept pace with her, snapping every show of emotion.

“While this was all going on, a (meet official) comes over and tells us, ‘Your protest has been upheld.’ Stanley was right next to me,” Stephen said. “He knew well before his jumper was ushered to the Mixed Zone (where interviews take place). When all is said and done, we are counterparts. I wanted to make sure he heard about the protest from me.”

Stephen said he has lobbied with track officials for years to have a system in place in which fouls can be reviewed instantly, the way photo finishes are in sprint events. He said he has been told that would be too expensive.

As for Demydova, Stephen said she found out she had won after the competition was over.

“She was sitting on one of the benches of the bleachers, gathering her stuff together,” Stephen said. “All I remember is seeing her reaction two or three minutes after the competition was over.”

Geubelle, thinking she had won, talked to reporters for at least 15 minutes about the thrill of winning the outdoor championship before a meet official pulled her away into an adjoining room, where KU’s track and field media relations representative Brad Gilbert and associate athletics director Jim Marchiony broke the news to her.

Given a chance to explain why he did not get the message to Geubelle before she did interviews, Redwine declined to be interviewed for this story. However, late Monday night, he issued a statement.

"I want to reiterate what I said on Saturday," Redwine said. "No one from the KU track and field staff knew that Andrea's jump was being protested until after the event was finished."

Until being interviewed for this story, Stephen said he had no idea that Geubelle made it all the way through interviews before hearing that she had not won the event and instead finished third.

“Oh no, that makes it worse,” Stephen said. “... When all is said and done, my job is to look out for my athlete. That’s what I was doing. There was no malicious intent.”

Kansas finished tied for fourth in the women’s NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship and 27 of its 28 points were produced by athletes who have at least one more year of eligibility.

• A previous version of this story has been updated to include a statement from KU track coach Stanley Redwine.

Comments

Janet Scott 10 years, 3 months ago

Must be a very slow sports day in Lawrence, Tom. Get over it. Move on. Disappointed for Andrea, but I can't fault Stevens.

Ben Kane 10 years, 3 months ago

I, for one, appreciate some coverage of the other sports besides basketball and football. this sounds like a gut wrenching experience, I hope she rebounds well at the trials and beyond.

gchawk 10 years, 3 months ago

No kidding, rules are rules. Like you, I'm sad for Andrea and I wish for her the very best in the Trials.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 3 months ago

You missed the looong string of comments on his article from a few days ago. A few of the comments came from someone claiming to be coach Stevens, tho the story has changed significantly from what was written in the blog.

It is nice to have the coverage of a team that is doing really well nationally. Unfortunately, there is almost no coverage about the other events and specifically the 4x400 that was also disqualified. That's a total of 10 pts. What difference would that have made in the standings? The Big 12 site is dumb to the concept as well.

Such a great performance, and yet so much remains to be achieved.

Trackandfield711 10 years, 3 months ago

Really, must be a really slow day in sports? If a basketball or football team had there national title taken away you think it would go unheard. No, we would hear about it for atleast a week. Easy for all of us to say move on, but Geubelle deserves some answers and coverage on this issue and hopefully change.

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 3 months ago

Everyone agrees that rules are rules, but how unnecessarily cruel to let her think she had won, let her do the interviews as the winner, and then tell her she was actually third instead of first. I don't think anyone is saying she should have been declared the winner anyway, just that there should be a better mechanism for determining the winner with some accuracy so that sort of thing doesn't happen. Doesn't one of the judges stand at the line and watch for fouls?

Trackandfield711 10 years, 3 months ago

I will let you all know. He is a liar. There is nothing more to it. Southern Miss get your story straight.

DanR 10 years, 3 months ago

The point is not that she scratched; it's that she wasn't notified. If it's too expensive to immediately review a jump before the next attempt, then just rely on the judges (who are NOT sitting in the stands and have eagle eyes to spot a centimeter infraction :rollseyes:).

Imagine the outrage in basketball if refs could decide there was basket interference/goal-tending that occurred 10 minutes into the second half which wiped 2 points off the board a half hour after a basketball game ended and your team lost by 1 point.

Sorry, the rule is complete and utter B.S. and just hurts the sport.

Ryan Shelton 10 years, 3 months ago

Actually, refs in the NBA can review tape at a timeout to determine whether or not a shooter's foot was on the line during a three-point attempt from many minutes prior and change the score. For the record, I hate that rule too.

Tom, thanks for following up with the Southern Miss coach.

lurkerhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Dan is talking about a reversal a half hour after a basketball game and not during a timeout.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 3 months ago

Your analogy would be similar to warning KU after the 5th flight but BEFORE the final flight of jumps. That's the issue.

rockchalk_dpu 10 years, 3 months ago

Yes, they can review the tape, but they are supposed to do it at the next stoppage of play rather than halting the game to make a review so its not like NBA refs can go back to the first half and check something as you have implied. It isn't quite the same as what we have here because as several posters have noted below and in other articles that Geubelle would have approached the final two jumps differently had she known and would have been more cautious rather than pushing the threshold and trying for the American record thinking she had the victory in hand.

Good to get the decision right, but bad that the rules allow for this sort of thing to happen.

oldjumper45 10 years, 3 months ago

Coach Stephen (hurts to call him coach) said he went right over and protested after the fourth jump. He also said in a chat to another article that he put in the protest at 12:07. If that is true, he put the protest in at 12:07 and it took 7 minutes to do this after Geubelle’s jump (so she jumped at 12:00). Then KU Athletics tweeted Geubelle won the triple jump at 12:22. So right after Geubelle’s fourth jump it only took 22 minutes to finish the competition. That's the fastest 20 triple jumps ever (2 jumpers left in the 4th round, 9 jumps in the 5th round, 9 jumps in the 6th round, 20 total) also don’t forget you have to rake the pit after each jump.

Below is the response Coach Stephen had to the other article and the post from KU Athletics on tweeter (The time on the tweeter is west coast so add two hours).

CoachKevinStephen(anonymous) says… My protest was on file at 12:07 pm Saturday 09, June. This was during the 5th round of jumps. This will be my last comment on this issue. I wish Andrea all the best at the trials.

Kansas Track & Field‏@KU_Track Andrea Geubelle wins the national championship in the triple jump w/her leap of 14.32m (46-11.75 ft.) & earns KU 10 pts. #kutrack #NCAAD1TF Collapse Reply retweet Favorite 14 Retweets 10:22 AM - 9 Jun 12via Twitter for iPad • Details

One more thing why would you need to miss Ganna 5th jumps if you gave the meet officials your phone number. Also, if you went back for her 6th jump shouldn’t they call you on your phone instead of coming over to you.

One thing my parents told me is to never lie because you have to remember them all to keep your story straight.

riverdrifter 10 years, 3 months ago

If you had spelled his name correctly, you might have a point.

Fail

oldjumper45 10 years, 3 months ago

Seeing that this is listed as a reply to my comments, I did spell his name correctly according to the Southern Miss web sight (Kevin M. Stephen). Keegan may have wrote a good article but it's misspelled in his. So you fail riverdrifter.

Trackandfield711 10 years, 3 months ago

riverdrifter-his name is spelt correctly, coach Kevin Stephen. Your about just as bad as him can't get your facts straight. And OldJumper45 has made the exact points that I have been putting together. This coach can not keep his story straight. It is obvious he is trying to cover himself, I would assume for recruiting reasons. You have already lost Coach, and lying is just making you look that much worst. And to be interviewed and act like you care at all about Geubelle. Move on Stephens your just loosing more and more respect. Go get them at trials Geubelle!

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

newmedia 10 years, 3 months ago

A late fit of conscience.Too bad pal but that ship has sailed. Good luck Andrea...

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 3 months ago

+1 Chalk it up and move on! Best of luck Andrea!

Dirk Medema 10 years, 3 months ago

The story changing isn't the best character comment for the coach, but it really shows that the NCAA needs to look into how they handle a T&F meet, especially a National Championship. It should be their responsibility to notify the coaches, especially in this age of technology (cell phones, hello). And I'm sorry, but the tech isn't that expensive to check for the foul in the first place, and there is plenty of time between jumps.

Ron Prichard 10 years, 3 months ago

I understand a coach's desire to support his athelete and if the rules permit a challenge then so be it. It isn't the coach's fault the challenge was upheld. For the record, I think the rule stinks, but it is the rule. That said, the coach needs to just shut up and move on. The only reason to make these comments is to attempt to clear his conscience, and frankly, no one around here wants to hear your excuses. It just makes him sound petty and insincere.

Jonathan Unruh 10 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 3 months ago

KU and the Big XII counterparts should actively move to remove S. Miss from any direct invitations to play in any sport. (I realize in National Championships you play against who is there), but football, basketball, baseball, etc., where the revenue is generated, the Big XII can make a statement against this team.

I think track and field is about sportsmanship and this didn't seem very sportsmanlike.

drwaldo69 10 years, 3 months ago

Trouble with all this is that Geubelle nor the KU coaches were notified about the protest until after her last jump. She might have approched her last two jumps a little differently instead of fouling out. She thought her 4th jump was good enought to win so she let it all hang out for her last two jumps and they were fouls. Southern Miss coach, sneaky little SOB, got what he wanted. It was so "obvious" from the stands? Yeah right, the judges right next to the board didn't see it. Stephens filed a protest and went and hid. As for Stephens rooting for Geubelle, I seriously wonder if he would root for Geubelle in the Olympics or Demydova, his Ukrainian student athlete.

Need instant review and let the jumper know before their next jump if it was a foul.

Kit Duncan 10 years, 3 months ago

From the article above:

Quote: Stephen said he was sitting in the stands, even with the point where the white (fair) and orange (foul) lines meet on the runway.

“The instant she jumped, I have no question in my mind it’s a foul,” Stephen said. End quote.

If he was sitting in such a way as to unquestionably see a foul on the takeoff, where the blazes was the judge and if it was so obvious, why did the judge not call it?

Coach Stephen is either trying to cover his tracks by lying after the fact, or the meet officials need to be reprimanded for poor oversight. I'm leaning toward the former.

oldjumper45 10 years, 3 months ago

As a former track athlete (a long time ago) this topic still burns me up. Coach Stephen stated he clearly saw that Miss Geubelle fouled on her jump from the stands directly across from the line. OK Coach (used loosely) answer me this. How is that possible? I just watched a video of Miss Geubelle’s final jump (a jump not protested) of 14.6 on YouTube and there is clearly a cone (or some triangle object) and camera right next to the white line. That is between where her foot hits the line and you are sitting more than 20 yards away. There is clearly two objects in direct line of your view.

With that said, here is what I think happened. ESPNU was showing this meet live and they showed that Miss Geubelle foot barely cross the line (which nobody from KU denies). The line judge held up the white flag indicating a fair jump. You then got a call from somebody watching it on TV and then made your protest later in the rounds or after the competition.

One last thing, Miss Geubelle seems like a wonderful young lady and is handling this amazingly. She probably does not want you cheering for her at the trials or ever want to hear or see you again.

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