Runner disqualified for helping sick opponent cross finish line (video)

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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.”

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