The Washington Post

Ohio high school runner hailed for sportsmanship after helping fellow runner (video)

Meghan Vogel (right) helps Arden McMath. (Mike Ullery / AP / The Daily Call)

But her last-place finish in the 3,200 is the one that’s going to be remembered because of a touching display of sportsmanship.

The West Liberty-Salem runner, who earlier won the 1,600, was running out of gas and at the back of the pack when she noticed Arden McMath, an Arlington High sophomore, collapsing. Vogel stopped and helped her cross the finish line, even though it meant that McMath finished 14th and Vogel 15th.

“I was coming around the turn and I had probably 100 meters left and she was 50 meters in front of me and I saw her fall,” Vogel said (via “I just didn't think twice about it. I knew I was going to pick her up and help her out. If you work to get to the state meet, you deserve to finish no matter who you are. I was going to make that happen for her no matter what.”

McMath told the Dayton Daily News she was surprised to see Vogel pick her up. “I just couldn’t believe she’d done that for me," McMath said. “We’re all in it together as distance runners. Everyone is trying to do their best. It’s a lot harder on your body than a lot of the other races.”

Vogel told the Daily News that reaction to her gesture — one YouTube video has over 2 million views — is “overwhelming and humbling at the same time. People are telling me I’m a role model for their children. I’m very honored.”

Follow us: @CindyBoren | @MattBrooksWP

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.


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