Runner Carries Rival: High School Students Become Fast Friends At Cross Country Meet

Cross country

A runner carried her rival during the Eastern Dakota Conference’s Cross Country Championship in North Dakota on Saturday after an injury just 800 meters from the finish line. According to The SpreadIt, Fargo South High School student Danielle LeNoue fell to the ground due to a torn patella tendon. While several runners — even some on her team — ran right past her, one person stopped to help. That person was Devils Lake High School senior Melanie Bailey.

Bailey helped LeNoue stand up, but she could see just how much pain her rival was in. Rather than just leave her there, Bailey got LeNoue to jump on her back. She carried LeNoue piggyback about 300 meters, as LeNoue grabbed her knee and cried. Help soon arrived and LeNoue was taken care of. Bailey then finished the race.

The runner who carried her rival finished the race eight minutes after the winner. However, Bailey said that the race didn’t really matter — even if it was a state qualifying race. She stressed the importance of helping others, and said that getting a good time at the race was far less important than helping someone in need.

“It’s just a race that’s the thing. A person is forever, a race just lasts 25 minutes,” Bailey said. According to SportAct, it sounds like these two girls are going to be friends for quite a long time — and what a story they have to tell about how they met!

“I felt like my leg was getting cut off… it was a bad pain,” explained LeNoue. “She came and picked me up and put me on her shoulders and away she carried me. She sacrificed her time to some stranger she didn’t even know. There’s still good people out there, there’s still hope.”

Another story about a runner carrying a rival made headlines back in 2012. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Ohio student Meghan Vogel was praised for helping Arden McMath cross the finish line of a 3,200 meter final. Giving up her great time, McMath was happy to help Vogel — and the girls finished the race together in 14th and 15th place, respectively.

“Any girl on the track would have done the same for me,” said Vogel at the time. “It’s been crazy. I can’t understand why everyone wants to talk to me, but I guess I’m getting used to it now.”

[Photo courtesy of Paul Merca]