High School Cross Country Team Helps Opponent At Finish Line

Training on the Track

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During a high school cross country race last Friday in Neenah, Michigan, Marquette High junior Seppi Camilli was about to place second and was in a sprint for the finish line when he lost his footing and collapsed. Cooper Erickson, a sophomore from Stevens Point Area Senior High, was on Camilli’s heels and could have improved his position by passing his rival while he was down, but instead stopped to help him.

Not far behind them, Erickson’s teammate Ethan Olds also stopped to help. Both runners could have moved up in the rankings one position, but instead they helped their competitor, making sure that he was able to finish the race. The three teens crossed the finish line, preserving their finish order from before Camilli fell down.

Now Erickson and Olds are being praised for their sportsmanship and compassion for their rival, but both runners insist that they’d do it again, even if it jeopardized their finish. "When you start to take running very seriously, you build a community," Erickson says, "And I thought that was more important than necessarily finishing in second place or in third place."

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