Gracie Laney sensed that someone was gaining on her as she rounded the final turn on the anchor leg of her high school team’s relay race, even though it had a large lead as she took the baton.

Only it wasn’t a human was closing — and fast — on Laney, a senior at Utah’s Logan High, in a 4x200-meter relay heat during the Grizzly Invitational earlier this month in Logan. It was a goldendoodle named Holly, who had broken free from fans watching from a grassy spot overlooking the track. Suddenly abandoning her humans, she took off with leash flying, nearly tripping one runner and displaying a stunning lack of lane discipline in pursuit of Laney as the crowd’s approving roar grew.

“I was trying to focus and to run my best 200,” Laney said, “and I think coming around the corner, you know, I was pretty confident that I was far enough ahead, that I could keep [the lead] and that I could finish it first. But with maybe the last 15 yards, I could kind of feel something coming up on me, and I thought it was a runner. Then I realized it was just too small and was a dog. I thought, ‘I’ll just keep running,’ because it wasn’t trying to attack me or jump on me or anything. It was kind of running by my side.”

Eric Strand, who is in his seventh year as Logan’s track coach, missed the moment because, with Logan hosting the 19-school meet, he was monitoring relay exchange zones. The roar and growing laughter caught his attention, but he didn’t see the ending until video surfaced.

I’ve never seen a dog run in their lane like that for almost a hundred yards, right next to people,” he said. “Sometimes there are incidents [at track meets] where somebody walks across the track or a dog will run in a cross-country race, but to see a dog just run parallel to somebody is pretty darn unusual.”

Strand explained there’s usually a fence separating the grassy area from the track, but it had been removed while renovations at the school were in progress, which contributed to a hilarious ending and viral video. But the first moments were a little harrowing for Laney.

“I was a little bit scared at the end,” she said. “I was afraid I might spike her or that she might trip me, but luckily nothing happened. I’m just glad that we didn’t get hurt.”

Kate Heywood, a Murray High junior, told MileSplit that she was warming up for the 3,200 when Holly made her furious dash and was retrieved by her family. “It definitely caught me off guard,” she said. The Heywoods, according to MileSplit, are likely to keep Holly at home from now on.

Laney, who plans to attend Utah State after graduation before going on a Mormon mission, was left with one regret: “I really wish I had gotten a selfie.”