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Is Muslim modest clothing the new killer app in track and field?
A high school track star has been disqualified from a meet because officials said the custom-made outfit she wears to conform to her Muslim faith violated competition rules.
Juashaunna Kelly, a senior at the District of Columbia’s Theodore Roosevelt High School, has the fastest mile and 2-mile times of any girl runner in the city this winter. She was disqualified from Saturday’s Montgomery Invitational indoor track and field meet.Kelly was wearing the same uniform she has worn for three seasons while running for Theodore Roosevelt’s cross-country and track teams. The custom-made, one-piece blue and orange unitard covers her head, arms, torso and legs. Over the unitard, she wears the same orange and blue T-shirt and shorts as her teammates.
The outfit allows her to compete while adhering to her Muslim faith, which forbids displaying any skin other than her face and hands.
“It’s not special,” Kelly said. “It doesn’t make me perform better.”
But meet director Tom Rogers said Kelly’s uniform violated rules of the National Federation of State High School Associations, which sanctioned the event. Uniforms are required to be “a single-solid color and unadorned, except for a single school name or insignia no more than 2 1/4 inches,” he said.
Rogers said that he knew Kelly was wearing the uniform for religious reasons and that he offered her several options to conform to the rules while still respecting her faith, including placing a plain T-shirt over her unitard and then wearing her team uniform over it.