Waynesburg hurdler Daniel Layton turns to PIAA after WPIAL denies his request

Monday, May 13, 2019 | 3:42 PM

Waynesburg’s Daniel Layton won’t be able to defend his WPIAL hurdles title unless the PIAA intervenes.

The senior was accidentally scratched from the 110-meter hurdles by his father/coach Rick Layton, a clerical error that Waynesburg asked the WPIAL to fix before the district championships arrive Thursday. But the WPIAL board voted Monday to deny Waynesburg’s request, leaving Layton’s fate in the hands of the PIAA.

“My reaction is complete disappointment that the WPIAL has decided to punish a superior student-athlete for the mistake of a coach,” Rick Layton said.

Waynesburg immediately appealed to the PIAA which scheduled a hearing for Wednesday.

Daniel Layton is the defending WPIAL Class AA champion in the 110 hurdles, but was accidentally deleted from that event when Rick Layton electronically submitted championship entries. Layton said he intended to remove his son from another event instead.

“I clicked the wrong button,” Rick Layton said. “I offered my resignation. I’m the one who should be punished. Sanction me, don’t let me coach at the meet, do whatever. But they’re choosing to continue to punish kids for errors by adults.”

The WPIAL board voted 12-3 to deny Waynesburg’s request because the May 8 submission deadline had passed. The information letter provided to coaches says “no changes may be made after the deadline!”

“To provide the relief that was requested would put in jeopardy the establishment of the deadline going forward,” WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley said.

O’Malley also said that altering Waynesburg’s submissions would be inconsistent with how the WPIAL handled similar after-deadline situations in the past.

Additionally, O’Malley said that a full 16-runner field has already been announced for the 110-meter hurdles. If Layton was to be added, would the runner currently ranked 16th be bumped from the championship? And using a 17-person field would be unfair to athletes who barely missed qualifying in other events, O’Malley added.

“Those were all things that were discussed at length,” O’Malley said. “There were some very strong sentiments in regards to the kid and … that it was a clerical error made by an adult. But it was ultimately the collective decision (of the board) to deny the request in an attempt to protect the integrity of the process.”

Layton is scheduled to compete in the pole vault, 300 hurdles and the 1,600 relay.

A year ago, Layton won the WPIAL Class AA 110-meter hurdle title in 14.73 seconds. He won the Baldwin Invitational earlier this month in 14.46.

Layton was among 20 scholar-athletes awarded a $1,000 scholarship Monday morning by the WPIAL at a banquet in Green Tree. A couple of hours later, the WPIAL board considered his appeal at its monthly meeting.

“He was good until today when they finally denied the appeal,” Rick Layton said. “He’s been more concerned about my well-being and his mother’s. Daniel is an outstanding young man. He’s so mature, but today it finally hit him.”

The WPIAL office received dozens of telephone calls Monday in support of Layton.

“All we can do is hope,” Rick Layton said. “We’re hoping that the PIAA has the wisdom and the courage to do the right thing and protect the student-athlete.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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