In Columbus, Ohio, high school student Meghan Vogel shows what it takes to be a true champion.
Vogel had already won the 1600 meter race in the state meet earlier in the day when what she did next brought the stadium to its feet. Running in the 3200 meter race, she rounded the corner and saw competitor Arden McMath about 50 yards ahead of her. The runner had fallen and Vogel had the chance to pass her by and improve her own finish. Instead she did something remarkable.
Vogel helped the fallen athlete to her feet and helped her cross the finish line, putting McMath just ahead of herself. The girls finished 14th and 15th respectively – dead last in the race.
In a move that surprised even her mom, Vogel said she only did what came naturally. She knew how hard athletes work to get to a state championship and she felt the girl had earned the right to cross the finish line. She told reporters that she believed any of the girls on the track would have done the same for her.
With the earlier win, Vogel’s own dreams had already been fulfilled. She is the first women to have won a first place medal at a state meet for West Liberty Salem in 20 years. She said achieving her life’s dream was a good feeling, one she couldn’t put into words.
Vogel’s mom, Ann Vogel, said Meghan’s actions were so touching that people kept coming up to them after the race with tears in their eyes because they were so moved by it.
This high school athlete may have sacrificed her finish but she showed that she is all heart. Vogel will be a senior in the fall of 2012 and McMath will be a junior. The girls will get another opportunity to compete against one another next year and everyone hopes it is far less eventful.