High school runner carries opponent to finish line

June 6, 2012

Meghan Vogel saw sophomore Arden McMath, who was running for a rival high school, collapsed in front of her on the track. Instead of running past her, she picked her up and carried her across the finish line. She even kept her in front.

Right before this race, Vogel, a junior from West Liberty-Salem High School, won the 1,600-meter title. She is a winner and a champion. Her act of sportsmanship has become quite a story lately in sports news.

In a race participants are trying to get the best time and position, and in many cases they will even pass by collapsed teammates to cross the finish line. Vogel lost time and position to help out an opponent who was clearly in front of her before she collapsed.

"I remember moving to her position," Vogel said. "(McMath) was doing the best she could to keep her body upright. There was a lot of shake in her legs, which is totally understandable."

The crowd errupted when they saw Vogel stop to help McMath get up and finish the race. Technically, if a runner helps another runner during a race, he/she is automatically disqualified. The officials decided that in this special case, they would let the finish times stand. I assume that rule usually applies to teammates.

"It's strange to have people telling me that this was such a powerful act of kindness and using words like 'humanity.' It's weird. When I hear words like that I think of Harriet Tubman and saving people's lives. I don't consider myself a hero. I just did what I knew was right and what I was supposed to do."

Isn't it always the people that do such kind things for others never consider themselves heroes, or doing something out of the ordinary?

Hopefully athletes around the world will learn how to stay competitive, but at the same time show good sportsmanship to one another. Sports are amazing when there are heated rivalries, but at the end of the day, it's only a competition.

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