Add this to the season’s files of notable cross-country race happenings.
Last month, Minnesota eighth-grader Gracie Bucher fell four times approaching the finish line of a high school sectional meet, unknowingly competing with what was later diagnosed as mononucleosis, according to NBC’s affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Bucher eventually made it to the end, thanks to an opponent.
Liana Blomgren, as 12th-grader from another school, helped Bucher to her feet, and they finished together.
“She was definitely a miracle for me,” Bucher said, according to the NBC affiliate. “She was like my angel that day.”
Both were disqualified as it’s illegal in most races of any kind to provide that kind of assistance to a runner. Or to receive it.
Blomgren was not in position to qualify for the state meet before helping Bucher, but she has been lauded by Minnesotans for weeks for her act in the final cross-country race of her high school career.
“I knew she wasn’t going to get to the finish line by herself and I knew that she needed somebody and nobody else was there for her,” Blomgren said, according to the NBC affiliate. “I don’t remember what place I was in the section meet last year. I don’t remember what place I was in the section meet the year before that. But I know I’m going to remember this.”
VIDEO: Deer stampedes cross-country runner
Olympic triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen is pregnant and will not compete this year.
“Just kind of take this year a little bit easier,” Jorgensen said in a video posted on Facebook on Thursday.
The baby is due Aug. 3, according to Jorgensen’s social media.
Jorgensen, 30, became the first U.S. Olympic triathlon champion in Rio after going in as the heavy favorite. She has said for months that she planned to take time off to have a baby before returning to defend her Olympic title at Tokyo 2020.
Swiss Nicola Spirig, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2016 silver medalist, is reportedly expecting a child in May.
In Jorgensen and Spirig’s absences, the top triathletes going into the season are defending world champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda, U.S. Olympians Katie Zaferes and Sarah True and Britons Vicky Holland and Helen Jenkins.
Jorgensen’s last competition was the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6, when she finished 14th in her first running race longer than 10 miles.
The World Triathlon Series kicks off in Abu Dhabi the first weekend of March.
MORE: Triathlon federation boss wants Olympic races shortened
The PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the first Winter Games in South Korea, are a little more than one year away.
A number of U.S. stars are establishing themselves in this winter sports season as medal contenders.
NBC Sports takes a look at some of those names to watch, as the U.S. looks to return to the top of the medal standings.
Russia earned the most medals at home in Sochi in 2014 with 33 medals, with the U.S. coming in second with 28. Those standings could change if Russian results are stripped due to its ongoing doping scandal.
The U.S. has never topped the total medal standings at a Winter Olympics outside of North America. It led the way at Lake Placid 1932 and Vancouver 2010.
VIDEO: PyeongChang 2018 Olympic venue tour