Girls track

Ohio teen runner helps carry competitor to finish

2012-06-05T16:00:00Z 2012-06-06T02:21:12Z Ohio teen runner helps carry competitor to finishThe Associated Press The Associated Press
June 05, 2012 4:00 pm  • 

CINCINNATI | A western Ohio high school runner who helped a struggling competitor finish their race is being praised for her sportsmanship and trying to cope with the attention it has sparked.

Meghan Vogel appreciates the accolades but said Tuesday that she is a bit overwhelmed by the praise that has been pouring in since Saturday's track meet in Columbus.

The 17-year-old West Liberty-Salem High School junior was in last place in the 3,200-meter run as she caught up to Arlington High School sophomore Arden McMath, whose body was giving out. Instead of zipping past McMath to avoid the last-place finish, Vogel put McMath's arm around her shoulders, half-dragging and half-carrying her about 30 meters to the finish line.

Vogel, who pushed McMath over the line before crossing it, has been getting Facebook and Twitter messages and mail from friends and strangers saying she has inspired them with her sportsmanship.

It's an honor and very humbling," Vogel said in a telephone interview from her West Liberty home. "I just thought I was doing the right thing, and I think others would have done the same."

But McMath, 16, of Findlay, said in a telephone interview from her northwestern Ohio home that she's not so sure.

"I' really don't think just everyone would have done that," she said. "I just couldn't believe what she did — especially pushing me in front of her — and I'm so grateful."

Both girls are a little hazy about the details.

"The last thing I remember was seeing Arden fall and then trying to get her to the finish line," Vogel said.

McMath remembered feeling like she was "blacking in and out" and falling a few times before Vogel helped her.

Vogel, who had won the 1,600-meter race earlier, said she was emotional and tired from that when she began the longer race.

She also felt "a little woozy" afterward and found herself next to McMath in the training room, where the Arlington student was being treated. McMath says her sodium levels apparently were low, but she has recovered.

Vogel's mother, Ann Vogel, is West Liberty-Salem's track and field coach. Technically both runners should have been disqualified, but the official decided not to make that call, she said. Neither runner scored any points, so team standings weren't affected. McMath finished 14th, and Vogel finished 15th.

Ann Vogel said she's very proud of her daughter, and the response has been amazing.

"People were coming up to us in tears and hugging both of us after the race," Ann Vogel said.

She said she was surprised by some negative comments on the Internet and talk radio criticizing her daughter for a lack of competitiveness.

"I can't believe people would twist an act of kindness like that," she said.

The girls say they hope to stay in touch and expect the public attention to die down soon.

"It's been nice, but it also will be nice to get back to normal," Meghan Vogel said.

___

Information from: Springfield News-Sun, http://www.springfieldnewssun.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which local prep soccer semistate qualifier will most likely reach state?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses