Meghan Vogel, a junior at West Liberty-Salem High School in Ohio, won the state’s Division III 1,600 meter race, but she gained more attention for a race in which she finished last.
Vogel was running the 3,200 meter race and about 50 meters from the finish line when she saw Arden McMath, a sophomore from Arlington High School, collapse. Instead of passing her, Vogel stopped to carry her competitor across the finish line.
Race rules say Vogel should have been automatically disqualified for helping another runner, but the Springfield News-Sun says meet management took no action. They gave McMath 14th place and a finishing time of 12:29.90, and Vogel 15th in 12:30.24. Vogel made sure McMath crossed the finish line first because she had been ahead of her.
“Helping her across the finish line was a lot more satisfying than winning the state championship,” Vogel told the News-Sun.
“What a selfless act,” said Arlington coach Paul Hunter. “She could have just gone around Arden. But she chose to help. I’ve never seen that at a state meet. That’s real sportsmanship.”
We’ve seen other outstanding acts of sportsmanship in track and cross country before, and this ranks right up there. It’s great to have a heartwarming story like this to balance out all the negative ones we see in high school athletics.
Well done Meghan, well done.
H/T Richard Deitsch