COLUMBUS, Texas (KXAN) - A high school track runner's gesture after winning a race cost his team a trip to the Texas state championship.
Derrick Hayes ran the anchor leg for the Columbus High School 4x100 meter relay team at last weekend's qualifying meet.
After Hayes crossed the finish line in first, his father said the teen pointed toward the sky to show his faith in God.
The move is against the rules for high school sports in Texas. Participants are not allowed to show any excessive "act of celebration".
"He's talked to the other guys and nobody's mad," said Derrick's father, K.C. Hayes. "They're all heartbroken legitimately heartbroken because they had a chance to go win it."
Parents complained, but as it stands, the Columbus High School relay team will miss the championship meet.
Normally, the University Interscholastic League rules govern competitions. However, the rule that disqualified the Columbus team came from the National Federation of High School Associations, and it can't be appealed.
In a statement from UIL, the league said the official "made a judgment call that cannot be appealed after the contest...neither the UIL nor NFHS have rules that prohibit religious expression."
In a statement Friday, the UIL said the athlete "behaved disrespectfully toward meet officials, in their opinion."
"The regional meet referee concurred with this decision and the student was subsequently disqualified," the statement continued. "There is no indication that the decision was made because of any religious expression. This was a judgment call, as are many decisions of meet officials in all activities."
The freezing and near-freezing rain that swooped into Central Texas overnight prompted numerous school closings and delays and made for a harrowing morning commute on Friday.
A man is charged with murder in the shooting death Wednesday of a woman at a North Austin auto repair shop, police said Friday.
A man is expected to survive after being stabbed in the head at the Salvation Army shelter in Downtown Austin at about 3:45 a.m. Friday.
As the Austin area prepares itself for an impending winter storm on Friday, Dec. 6, many schools have already announced delays.
It's the first criminal charge following a yearlong criminal investigation into the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
With freezing temperatures pushing through the region, heating systems will likely be working overtime, which can bring rising energy bills.