We often hear about athletes helping their own team members in need. However, helping out someone from a rival team is almost unheard of. But that's exactly the kind of selfless act Andover High School cross-country runner Josh Ripley, is being applauded for.
The chain of events unfolded on September 16th at one of Minnesota's largest and most prestigious cross-country races - The Apple Jack Invitational. Josh, a junior at Andover High, was just starting to hit his pace in the first mile, when he heard somebody screaming as if in pain.
While other runners kept going, Josh decided to stop and investigate what was going on. To his horror, he found fellow competitor, Mark Paulauskas holding a profusely bleeding ankle. Concerned that the freshman from Lakeville South High School may have injured his Achilles heel, Josh did something that most athletes would have never even considered - Lifted the freshman and carried him for about half a mile to where his coach and parents were.
Turns out that Josh's selfless action may have been really timely - For while Mark who had been spiked by another runner's shoe, had not hurt his tendons, he had been cut so badly, that he needed 20 stitches!
And, it gets better - After making sure Mark was being taken care of, the junior continued on with his race and actually finished it. While he did not win by coming first, he was in everyone's opinion, the true winner of the event - An athlete that demonstrated what true sportsmanship is all about!