THUNDER BAY – A Thunder Bay runner is facing the race of his life – faced with the possibility of not being allowed to compete in the NCAA national track and field postseason.
Jordan Mcintosh, a senior at Portland State University, has been told his school can not compete at the West Regional event, due to a coaching error. To be eligible for nationals, teams must enter 14 different male athletes in at least eight meets during the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Portland State coaches erred and did not hit the threshold, and Mcintosh, who qualified for the NCAA West Regionals, has been told he will not be allowed to compete.
The decision does not sit well with Mcintosh, who transferred to Portland State after the men's outdoor program at the University of Minnesota was shelved.
“For as long as I can remember, my dream in running has always been to qualify for the NCAA Championships and become an All-American,” the 24-year-old Mcintosh wrote in a plea posted to his personal Instagram account.
“This season I was heading into the West Regional Championships ranked eighth, with the top 12 athletes qualifying for the West out of any event. Getting to the NCAA Championships (is) by no means a guarantee to anyone, but my chances were high and I was ready to fight for an All-American honour in my last collegiate season after having proven myself to be one of the fastest steeplechasers in the West. Unfortunately, that opportunity has been taken away from me.”
Mcintosh a graduate of Hammarskjold High School, said the accounting error was completely out of his control, and it’s unfair to punish him for a mistake not of his own making, given that he qualified on his own merit.
“The NCAA is punishing my coach for not complying, but by doing so they are only punishing me. I could have accepted not qualifying for the NCAA championships had I not performed well at the regional championships. That I can live with,” Mcintosh writes.
“However, the end of my college running career has been determined by someone else. I am sad, angry, and all around confused as to why the NCAA, who prides themselves on opportunities for student-athletes, would punish one athlete for the (in)actions of a program.”
The Big Sky Student Athletic Advisory Committee issued a letter of support, urging the NCAA to reconsider the decision.
“Big Sky SAAC strongly urges the NCAA to reconsider its decision regarding the participation of Jordan Macintosh in the NCAA West Regional. Jordan Macintosh, an athlete representing Portland State Track and Field, has been disqualified from competing by the NCAA based on violations of bylaws 220.127.116.11 an 18.104.22.168,” reads the letter, signed by Big Sky SAAC president Jamie Zamrin , whose organizations represents athletes at 10 conference schools.
“These bylaws stipulate that a track and field must have a minimum of 14 male athletes participate in at least eight meets throughout the indoor and outdoor seasons in order to qualify for the postseasons. As Big Sky SAAC, we insist that the NCAA holds the program accountable for the violation, rather than punishing the athlete.
According to Running Magazine, Mcintosh holds school records in the 6,000-metre and 10,00-metre events. McIntosh is also the school record holder in the mile and 3,000-metre events.
The 2023 NCAA Track and field championships are scheduled to be held from June 7 to June 10 in Austin, Texas. The West Regional event is slated to begin on Wednesday in Sacramento, Calif.
TBNewsatch has reached out to the NCAA for comment on the situation.