One second, Tyrese Cooper was the fastest teen to run the 200 meters in Florida state history. The next, he was off the list.
As reported by track and field website dyestat, the Miami Norland standout set what would have been a state record in the 200 meters with a time of 20.44 seconds. As soon as he hit the finish line, Cooper allegedly raised his hands and formed a “W” with his fingers, earning a disqualification for taunting as part of the unsportsmanlike conduct clause in Section 6, Article 1 of the Florida High School Athletic Association regulations.
You can see video of the race above, where Cooper does appear to ease up a bit at the finish, though it’s difficult to determine if that truly justified a taunting violation.
Had it stood, Cooper’s 20.44-second finish at the Louie Bing Classic would have been the fastest in Florida history by 0.14 seconds and the eighth fastest nationwide all-time.
Instead, it went down as Cooper’s lone finish off the medal stand at the event, following a first-place finish in the 400 meters with a personal best of 45.45 seconds and a second-place finish in the 100 with a time of 10.81.
News of Cooper’s disqualification set off a passionate back-and-forth among Florida track and field fans on the Florida Runners (@flrunners) Twitter feed, with many calling out the officials for disqualifying such a blazing time and others striking a more understanding tone.
Either way, there was no denying the ultimate truth: Cooper ran one of the fastest prep 200 meter times of all-time, and he’ll never get credit for it.