Cross country runner turns back to help

An Alaska high school cross country runner turns around during a race to go back and help a teammate make it across the finish line. During the Alaska Division II state boy’s cross country championship race, Grace Christian senior Geremu Daggett was just about to cross the finish line when he noticed his teammate having trouble.

Colton Merriner and Geremu had been running side-by-side for much of the race, but just feet from the finish line, Colton’s legs gave out on him and he collapsed. Geremu stopped just short of the finish line and rushed back to help his friend and teammate. “I saw him fall and I’m like, ‘If I cross this finish line I can’t go back and help,’” Geremu recalls. So he stopped just short of the finish line and ran back for Colton. “In the moment, I didn’t have time to think about rules or whatever, I just helped him up — well, more dragged him — across the finish line.”

Colton was disqualified for not crossing the finish line on his own and says he’s a little embarrassed by the experience, but that he learned a valuable lesson. “Geremu modeled what a captain and an older teammate should act like,” the sophomore says. “And so in that sense, it has shown me what I can be and should be when I’m an upperclassman.” And Geremu wouldn’t have chosen for his last race of his high school career to end this way, but he doesn’t regret helping his friend. “I wouldn’t change one bit of it,” he says. “God has a plan, and he had me there and I am thankful that I could help him.”

Source: Alaska News Source

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