FILED IN: Sports

Kentucky teen drops out of championship race after drawing bib ‘666’

High school athlete forfeits championship on religious grounds. Screen shot via LEX 18.,
High school athlete forfeits championship on religious grounds. Screen shot via LEX 18.,

A Whitley County High School student in Whitley County, Ky. said, ‘uh, I don’t think so,’ on Saturday, after she showed up for a state cross country championship and was given a bib number of ‘666’.

Codie Thacker, 16, said she had to take her principles and walk away after her coach drew a number antithetical to her beliefs.

Thacker says she’s been training for five months for the state championship after winning the cross country regional, so she was disappointed when she saw the number she was supposed to wear was 666, reported Lex 18.

Thacker had reportedly been building momentum for the race and had a case of the nerves going into it, she had worked hard and wanted to win but when she saw her assigned number, Thacker said, “I didn’t want to risk my relationship with God and try to take that number.”

Thacker’s coach, Gina Croley, said she knew they were in trouble when she looked at the number she drew. Croley said, “I saw it and I was like, ‘whoa’, I don’t think she will wear that number.”

Codie Thacker, 15, dropped out of state finals because judges allegedly refused to allow her to switch out '666' bib. Screen shot via LEX 18.
Codie Thacker, 15, dropped out of state finals because judges allegedly refused to allow her to switch out ‘666’ bib. Screen shot via LEX 18.

“It’s the mark of the beast. That’s what the bible says,” said Thacker.

Croley and Thacker insist that they spoke to the judges several times about allowing her to switch out her number but they claim the judges refused. It’s a charge the Kentucky High School Athletic Association denies. According to UPI, a KHSAA spokesperson said they would have honored a request to change a number based on religious reasons.

Because Thacker forfeited, she is done for the season, but has decided to move forward and focus on 2014.

“Whenever¬†¬†I didn’t get to do it, of course, I was upset, because I’d trained all season for it. But in another sense I stood up for my beliefs and I stood up for God,” Thacker said.

Thacker went onto say that she asked the judges to cross her name of the roster because she didn’t even want her name to be associated with the number.