Meghan Vogel, a junior runner at West Liberty-Salem High School in Ohio, placed first in the 1,600-meter race at the Division III state meet. However, it was not her remarkable finish that has been appreciated by fellow teammates, spectators, and now, the media. Rather, Vogel’s selfless gesture to help carry a competitor across the finish line is what has brought her into the spotlight.
In the 3,200 meter race, Vogel noticed that with about 20 meters left, competitor Arden McMath had collapsed. Instead of passing her, Vogel helped McMath up and carried her to the finish line, where she let McMath finish ahead of her. Vogel finished in 15th place in 12:30.24, while McMath finished 14th in 12:29.90.
“Any girl on the track would have done the same for me," Vogel said Monday in an interview with ESPN.
Vogel’s selfless deed is now being greatly acknowledged. When returning home that night, she had already received thirty Facebook friend requests and the media in her home state of Ohio was rabidly perusing her story to report.
Although this was the first act of Vogel’s to attract widespread attention, it was not her first time delivering good sportsmanship.
At the state qualifying race, one week prior, Vogel helped clinch the 4×800 relay, sending her team to the state championships.
Understandably, Vogel collapsed from exhaustion after completing the race. Her teammates dashed to give her a hand, but Vogel noticed a competitor who had finished fourth (one spot from qualifying) had also collapsed on the floor.
Vogel did not hesitate and knew exactly what to do next. She rushed to her competitor’s side, helped her up, and comforted her.
To Vogel, the immense appreciation for her act comes as a shock.
“It's strange to have people telling me that this was such a powerful act of kindness and using words like 'humanity.' It's weird. When I hear words like that I think of Harriet Tubman and saving people's lives. I don't consider myself a hero. I just did what I knew was right and what I was supposed to do."