Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/18/14

There was some outstanding sportsmanship displayed during at the Ohio state track meet last Saturday.

Meghan Vogel, a junior at West Liberty-Salem (Ohio) High School, 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 McMath 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
Video via The News-Herald

89 Comments:
  • Awesome..........proof that the selfless spirit is alive and well. Hats off to you young lady!
  • [not displayed: comment from locked account]
  • Well done Meghan, truley inspiring!
  • On a personal level I understand the spirit in which this selfless act was performed. I also think the officials were wrong in not disqualifying her per the race rules. I wonder what would have happened if Meghan and Arden had been running 1-2 instead of 14th and 15th?
  • That is the main thing that you are commenting on is that they didn't disqualify her? For real?
  • JohnCC, God forbid your child ever gets hurt or sees someone hurt and nothing is done about it, a couple years ago a similar thing happened in a GIRLS softball game when an opposing player hit a homerun but broke her leg rounding 2nd and the 3rd base and short stop carried her to 3rd and home so the run counted. Even if they were in 1st and 2nd, like Meghan said, some things are more rewarding than winning, what she did was a winning act
  • if they were running 1-2 then they most likely would be disqualified because people like you, who might be 300 yards behind with no chance to win unless this happened, would be kicking and screaming so you could cherish a trophy that you won by some heartbreaking mishap.
  • ...what if they had been running 1-2...really? Let's see, these two ladys are running one and two, one collapses and the other stops, helps her up and helps her complete the race....and they are still 1-2? Clearly not the case, take it for what it is and enjoy a true and rare act of sportsmanship!
  • John CC what kind of human being are you? I guess if you has a son or daughter that, you'd have given them a good tongue lashing!
  • You watched the video, you read the story and yet somehow you managed to completely miss the entire message.
    John, I live in Tampa Florida, on a normal day I'd never read about a highschool race in Ohio. I don't know who won the state champioship in this race. What I do know is that a highschool student, who was in contention to win a race, sacrificed her opportunity and showed compassion for another person. Years from now, only the winner will remember this race and the results, but everyone will remember Meghan and what she did, they'll probably forget the year, they will certainly forget what the trophy looked like and will not remember who won, who came in second and third. But everyone will remember who came in 14th and 15th place. I once saw a movie and at the end a guy won a fight because his opponent did not want to hit him a last time even though that meant he would've won but during the award ceremony the winner told the guy that spared his life the following: "To save a life in defeat is to win honor in life".
    That my friend is what Meghan did and that makes her the winner of this race. She dindn't walk out with a trophy, she walked out with much much more, she walked out of there with honor and a whole lot of people's respect. I'm sorry that you missed that, but I'm glad as hell that the people whose opinion counted in that decision made the right and moral call of not disqualifying her. I'll take her 15th place any day of the week and twice on suday over your fake and misled sense of interpretation of what's right and wrong.
  • she did have a trophy, from the other race she won. she didnt sacrifice anything, she already won her race, so she didnt care what happened in the 3200m of course she was gonna help the girl..
  • To the ray of sunshine that wrote such negative comments. You are a classless jerk, one of those people who are always seeking the negative. Grow up SORE LOSER!! Trophy or not it was a humane thing to do. Hope you never need the assistance of another person.In addition to the other jerk that had nothing better to comment on other than the 2 girls placement? Really you're super Bright Arent you...who cares what place they finished thats not whats important!
  • 4Soda4 lost to Meghan in the 1600m!
  • lolwut are u retarded? I am an innocent bystander my good brando
  • Maybe she saw that this girl wanted to win, but was failing. MAYBE she thought this girl didn't deserve to be last to someone that didn't care about this race. Either way, she did something that I'm sure you, 4Soda4 would NEVER DO.
  • if i was in last place, already won a race, of course i would help her, anyone in their right state of mind would.
  • Are you serious? You can tell you never competed in any sports. Every metal, every trophy means something. Do you not think that Michael Phelps appreciated every one of his eight gold metals in 2008? Or the total of 16 Olympic metals that he has? Or by your logic above, he said, well, I have a metal, don't need another one.
  • thats exactly what she did, u have obviously never been involved in a state track meet, she just wanted to win one event, she was satified with winning the 1600, so she decided to enjoy the run of the 3200 meter and not try.
  • really, john? seriously? hmmm i wonder what would happen if we read a wonderful story like this just once....(they are just kids no less)...and there would not be one discouraging comment such as yours.(and no you do not understand the selflessness this act took -that would not be in your scope)
    Hey, You fall down in the race ...we need to leave you there!
  • On a personal level, I think you're wrong.....Meghan's act will be remembered long after the race/results have been forgotten. Rules are made to establish limits and guidelines, acts of kindness are exempt from any rules. Good job parents on raising a fine young lady - I hope her act and character will inspire others to follow her lead.
  • Athletics builds discipline and character. It also develops good sportsmanship. This girl displays all three. You are missing the point completely with your post. There's always someone in the audience that throws a wrench into a feel good story...
  • I agree. Rules are rules regardless of the sportsmanship she displayed.
  • Really dude .....get real.....thats the most awesome act of a true spotsmenship ......Megan your the greatest
  • [not displayed: comment from locked account]
  • In this case, what is really the difference between being last and being disqualified? The judges recognized the fact that disqualifying her would not have placed any other runner ahead of her and used a little common sense.
  • Hats off to this bright ,smart ,young female for choosing to help a fellow racer. If our government can only work together like some humans, the US would be a great place once again.
  • You are number one! GO GIRL GO
  • Meghan has shown true character,honor, and grace.She will be a success in life no matter what place she finishes in.
  • A heart of gold outweighs a gold medal - 10fold. And kudos to the track officials not DQing either gal. Actions speak louder than words. Sportsmanship at its finest all around.
  • JohnCC I somehow doubt you got the spirit in which this act was performed. The meet management did and acted accordingly. Sometimes rules are meant and should be broken. Kudos to this young woman for being a good person instead of a "good competitor". In two years no one will remember she won the 1,600 meter, but they will remember what a good person she was.
  • while true a top three finish was not at stake, we need more young athletes with Meghan's attitude and character. I think the rule should be modified or removed altogether. I am glad the meet organizers choose not to enforce this rule. I think the intent of the rule is to avoid a competitor having an unfair advantage over the rest of the field.
  • In reality, that race means nothing. Seriously, what is it for? But to stop and help another human being, these are the sort of things that build character, which is more important than winning a race. Considering what many of today's youth are doing, it's nice to know that some of them actually have a conscience.
  • Perhaps I am crass, but I believe Meghan did a major disservice to herself. It was a very kind gesture, but there were hundreds of other people near by (some of them medical professionals) available to assist Arden (the injured girl). The opportunity to win a high school State Track championship is a very rare occurance in one's life and an opportunty that I am sure Meghan worked very hard for. Again, Meghan's actions are commendable, but there were many qualified people present to assist Arden. Meghan owed it to herself to finish her race. I am not suggesting competitors literally run each other over in the quest of victory, but in this case I don't believe it would of been poor sportmanship, on Meghan's part, if she simply finished her race. I hope other runners, in a similar situation, will finish the race that they have worked so hard for. I truly hope Arden is in good health and I wish them both continued success in their track endeavors.
  • she could have won the 3200m or gotten 2nd or 3rd, but she didnt care about the race because she already won the 1600m, so she was jogging this race.
  • From the story, it doesn't sound like she was in contention to win the race, with only 50 meters to go it appears she was in 15th place. With that said, it was a class act to stop and help a fellow competitor.
  • You are assuming she would have acted differently if she was in a position to win the race. I prefer to think she would have done the same thing she did anyway. However, the point is that you have no way of knowing since it didn't happen that way, so quit whining.
  • For many reasons, I have to agree with you. What if I pick someone up and that person dies on my shoulder? Then everyone must be saying I should have left that person on the ground and finish my race. For me, I am losing the race anyway so why not stop and help someone. If she had kept going and not stopped to help, I definitely would not have anything to comment on. I completely understand...
  • exactly
  • If you watch the video, there were coaches and other runners that started toward her. They all stopped when Megan helped the girl up. If they were worried, they would have continued toward them, but they probably realized it was leg cramps and felt that Megan was doing something memorable.
  • Wow! Glad most people don't think like you. My kids would never put a "thing" ahead of a human being and I am proud of them for that.
  • The winner of the race will be forgotten in a year....this act of kindness will be remembered forever! Nice job Megan, let this act inspire those who appreciate it!
  • The REAL athletes and role models are the kids, not the multi-million dollar jocks. The young people have a lot to teach us.
  • All I have to say is, ANYONE that could possibly find a negative thought about this situation must have some seriously deep mental issues. And you in particular JOHNCC, how dare you find it acceptable to punish an innocent kid for doing something that was so admirable. Your thought process is what breeds negativity, cheating, and selfishness; among many other awful traits. All I can hope is that you don't have children that you raise to be spineless like your self. MEGAN YOU ARE AMAZING! I hope your story reaches many and that we all strive to be better people and understand that there is more reward in being a good person and take care of others than anything else.
  • She already won the race she wanted, the 1600m, she wasnt even trying in the 3200m race, of course she was gonna help the girl..
  • You sound BITTER 4SODA4... you lost in the 1600m, didn't you?
  • No, i watched it, im a guy shes a girl, if you use your brain and put two and two together u will figure it out. I just know what really happened.
  • you dont run a race just for the heck of it , your there to win. She did an awesome thing.
  • Wow! I really admire her for that. Not many of us can do that, including myself. In the Olympics, the person behind is probably praying that the person in front trips and falls. Who knows?
  • How is this sportsmanship??? Although the runner’s actions may have been well meaning, they were complete misplaced and meaningless. The positive reaction here is typical of our society’s need to find deeper meaning in insignificant acts. It reminds me of someone getting a bumper sticker to show that they “support the troops”. Utterly meaningless.

    There was no reason for this girl to stop her race to “assist” the other runner. I am certain that there were plenty of other people available to help this runner who were not in the race. I am also certain that some of them were medical personnel who were far more qualified to help than the girl who stopped. Finally, how exactly did she help? She didn’t help her finish the race, because you can’t finish a race if someone helps you. As far as I can tell she didn’t save her life. All she did was prevent herself from running her best race in a once in a lifetime opportunity for no good reason.

    This is not noble, it’s stupid!
  • You are an idiot. To sit here and spit on one girl's selfless act and say that's stupid just goes to show what kind of low life individual you are. That's the problem with the world. Too many a-holes like you running it and not enough compansionate people like Meghan Vogel. Get a life and maybe a heart.
  • what u just said makes u sound meaningless and stupid and this is comeing from a u.s airforce vet and runner
  • Wow, I don't think Meghan's the one suffering from stupidity (or selfishness ... a big problem in our society, so much so that a simple act of kindness [and yes, sportsmanship!] such as this makes national news because it's almost unheard of any more). When one looks back at their life, it is so much more gratifying to be able to say "I did the right thing" (no matter what it is). It doesn't matter whether someone "better qualified" might be available to help. It's about whether you're WILLING to help; that's what defines character.
  • You know, Megan was in the middle of running a race. She saw the other girl down and had only a few seconds to decide to do what she did. It wasn't like all you yahoos (the negative ones) who have mulled this over in your heads for HOURS. It was a reflex reaction and those reactions most often show the type of person you really are. Good for you Megan.
  • are you really that stupid to feel that way about a kid stopping when she could see the finish line. You think thats not a big act of sportsmenship. You never played sports did you. Also you dont have a brother or family memeber in the military do you? When someone supports them mutant its because you believe in what they are doing. You have no serious clue about anything other then what you do.
  • I was at the meet, she had just won the 1600m race, so she doesnt even try in the 3200m because it doesnt matter what she got in it, she already won the race she wanted. There would be absolutly no way she would have helped anyone in any race she was actually COMPETING in. I would hope anyone who didnt care about their race, or was in last place, would help someone who collapsed on the track.
  • It doesn't matter my bitter friend, (4SODA4), she did something that most people wouldn't do. And yes, if she was going after a trophy she wanted, she wouldn't have been in 15th place. Maybe she thought that this poor girl who tried her hardest to win this race shouldn't come in last after someone who jogged it. No go off and cry about losing the 1600m race to Meghan and not being as cool as her also!
  • you are so dull in the head. she got what she wanted, (the 1600m run, she got first,) she didnt care what she got in the 3200 cuz she was satisfied with the 1600. anyone would have helped the collapsed girl with the good feeling that you already won the race you wanted.
  • 4SODA4
    If you are running in a state race you are competing. You say you were there, but it seems like you know nothing about track and field. You have to qualify to run in states. Depending on the state you have to well in sectional and regional races, sometimes only first place is allowed through. Many times they have to run again to qualify to run in the placing race. It's not like you aren't allowed to win multiple races. No coach is going to use a runner that isn't going to try and win. Winning both could lead to a greater chance at college scholarships.
  • I know alot about state track meets my good man. Ive been to them many times, and was in track in highschool. I am well aware you have to qualify to get to state. and no the first place is not only allowed to go, its top 4 in each from districts, to regionals, then to state. I am well aware of the fact you can win multiple races. But she didnt want to win the 3200, she already won the 1600 meter and thats all she wanted, i know how these runners think because i was one of them, just the fact that she won a state meet in the 1600 was enough for her to be satified, that is why she was last in the 3200m, i watched her run many times before that, and she was usually in the top 4 runners for the 3200m, she got last because she wanted to.
  • You made my day, Meghan! Your parents, family, team, school, coach must be so proud!! I know we sure are!!
  • [not displayed: comment from locked account]
  • JohnCC: The answer is that they undoubtedly would have disqualified both of them. For those of us who have hearts, the reason for NOT disqualifying them is obvious: to show their support for the humanitarian actions of one of their participating athletes.
  • For those of us who have hearts? lol.. For those of us who have brains. If Vogel would not have won her 1600m race, she would have been in front like everyone else going for the win, not caring what happened to the girl who collapsed
  • BITTER BITTER BITTER BITTER BITTER BITTER! WHAAAA WHAAA WHHAAA You must be the winner of this race.... lol.
  • Are you even thinking before you type? You sound like a complete moron. This is a 17 year old girl you are bashing for doing an honorable thing. Who the hell do you think you are? I'm embarrassed for you.
  • There is more to life than winning, and this young lady proved just that. Congrats to her family for raising a wonderful young woman. Best of luck in life to Meghan & Arden.
  • good lord, that sentiment, while nice, belongs at the shelter/nursing home not at a competitive sporting event. "... crush your enemies -- See them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!"
  • "she ain't heavy, she's my sister"

    Way to go Meghan. That was a heroic, selfless, wholehearted, inspiring act of kindness.
  • This is the simplicity of high school sports vs professional sports where all you are concerned about is the endorsments, winning and the money. I would hope others would learn from this who might not have even thought of helping another person in a situation like this. Very professional young lady.

  • Could any athlete display a finer sense of sportsmanship than this? Could any parent be more proud of a child that was willing to put it on the line like this? If she had run by the collapsed sophomore competitor on her way to a victory, few would have said anything. But she stopped, picked up the fallen runner, and helped her to the finish line, losing the race in the process. I wonder if the runner that took the gold now wishes she had stopped too to help. What if they had all stopped and got in line behind the runner who should have won the race, but decided her personal integrity and senseof compassion was more important that a medal? That's courage. That's sportsmanship, that's class. It doesn't get any better than this.
  • [not displayed: comment from locked account]
  • What it have been great if this young lady could have won the state championship and receive all the accolades, yes, of course! However, this young lady showed us what life is all about- to think more of others than for yourself. This kind of unselfishness is what the world is lacking. Jesus Christ did many great selfless acts, but the greatest act is that he ultimately gave his life for everyone. Kudos to Meghan Vogel.
  • yaaaaay!!!
  • “Helping her across the finish line was a lot more satisfying than winning the state championship,” Vogel told the News-Sun.

    Doesn't that say everything that needs to be said?
  • Some of these comments that have been left are just ridiculous and down right mean! We teach and want our children to help others and this is how they are treated when they do. Yes, this was a Division III state competition, every one of those girls wanted to win, but there can only be one winner. In this case there are three, the first place finisher, Meghan, and Arden!

    Meghan should be extremely proud of herself because what she did was selfless!
  • Outstanding - the truest demonstration of Sportsmanship !
  • realy johncc u must not know the rules real well and no they would not of disqualfied them eather and that girl is my good friends neace and has more respect and heart then u would ever have and makeing the coment u did just makes u look and sound stupid
  • I had tears in my eyes watching and reading this. A touching story. God bless these girls!!
  • Meghan is a winner no matter what. Seeing kindness in action is a true gift. Well done. I'm inspired all the way from Australia.
  • She is a loser. People wonder why we are not competiitve in the world anymore, its because we praise noncompetitive actions
  • There is always the liberalist that want to question everything in life. Young lady you did an outstanding job of displaying Leadership, compassion and empathy. If this country had more citizens like you we would be living in an even greater place.I led Marines for 32 years and I know they all would salute you for your Leadership.
    Ron Kirby
    SgtMaj USMC Ret
    www.RonKirbyLeadership.com
  • Fantastic show of character and sportsmanship! With how selfish so many sports figures are in this world, it is nice for someone to show this type of character. I won many high school races in my life - and lost many too. None of the wins or losses matter 20 years later, although at that time, I did not know that. This girl shows the kind of heart that will make her a winner in whatever she does in life - until the day she dies. At such a young age, she already knows that it does not matter if you win or lose, it is all how you play the game! Integrity all the way! Good going Meghan! Congratulations on your wins that day!!!
  • Now that Rush Limbaugh has weighed in and said that Meghan's actions were indicative of the collapse of American culture and that the liberal agenda has turned our country into a bunch of wimps, we now know the REAL story. It was a heroic act, an act that those on the far right simply cannot understand because they are so lacking in compassion. Congratulations, Meghan. You have helped to restore my faith in the sporting community!
  • 4 of my 5 kids are teenagers, and so with all their friends I see the actions of teens quite often. The news so quickly puts the problem teens in the news and even on reality shows like "teen moms". But so seldom do we hear or read about selfless acts such as this. The sad thing is that youth like this girl and the good things they do far outnumber the youth that cause trouble, but the news rarely shows us the youth in our country that are making a difference in this world.
  • Its sad that a girl does a great thing regardless of placement . It was selfless. Shes awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im a dad and if my daughter were to have done that I would be the proudest dad ever. You people coming up with negitive have no idea what kind of kid she is. She will be a positive in this world of negitive.
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