Andover High School cross country runner Josh Ripley carried an opponent a half mile after noticing the other runner was injured. Ripley was competing in the Applejack Invite in Lakeville, Minn. when he heard screams coming from another runner. While everyone else ran past the wounded runner, Ripley stopped to assist him.
Turns out Lakeville South runner Mark Paulauskas was bleeding from his ankle after getting spiked. Ripley was worried that Paulauskas punctured his Achilles, so he carried the injured runner a half mile to his parents and coaches before rejoining the race. Paulauskas ended up being taken to the hospital where he received more than 20 stitches.
So why did Ripley stop to help Paulauskas when everyone else ran by him?
“I didn’t think about my race, I knew I needed to stop and help him,” Josh said. “It was something I would expect my other teammates to do. I’m nothing special; I was just in the right place at the right time.”
Ripley may not think his actions were special, but they were. He’ll be honored by the school board on Monday for his excellent display of sportsmanship.
Chest bump to Off the Bench for the story