UPDATE: Devils Lake runner pauses race, carries injured Fargo South competitor to medical cart
Melanie Bailey's high school cross country career is over, but the Devils Lake (N.D.) High School senior finished with a perfect ending. At the Eastern Dakota Conference cross country meet last Saturday at the Ponderosa Golf Course near Glyndon, ...
Melanie Bailey’s high school cross country career is over, but the Devils Lake (N.D.) High School senior finished with a perfect ending.
At the Eastern Dakota Conference cross country meet last Saturday at the Ponderosa Golf Course near Glyndon, Minn., Bailey came across injured Fargo South runner Danielle LeNoue late in the race.
LeNoue, also a senior, had injured the patella tendon in her left knee. She couldn’t continue and was sobbing on the course.
Bailey sprung into action. She told LeNoue to get on her back.
Bailey carried her opponent about 250 yards to an emergency cart, where LeNoue received medical attention.
“It was pure reaction,” Bailey said. “I didn’t think about whether or not I should do this. I only wanted to make sure she was OK and not going to be in more pain than she needed to be. I wanted to help her.”
Bailey’s final time didn’t qualify for next weekend’s North Dakota state meet in Minot, but she said the good deed was worth it.
“It was a good way to end things,” said Bailey, who trains on her own in the winter while also participating in speech and drama at Devils Lake.
Bailey and LeNoue have stayed in contact through Facebook.
“I made a friendship, and she’s a really good person,” Bailey said. “It turns out we have lots in common.”
Devils Lake coach Curt Kukert, who has coached the Firebirds the past eight seasons, said he’s never seen anything like it.
“I’ve never seen an act of sportsmanship like that before,” the 46-year-old Kukert said. “Not when I was running in high school or college or now in coaching. I’ve never seen anyone stop and aid to that length. She didn’t care about her time or place.
“That’s a nice role model … a nice spur-of-the-moment selfless act.”
Everyone else thinks so, too. Bailey’s story aired Thursday on WDAY-TV in Fargo and was picked up by ABC’s national news.
The story has also made its rounds on the internet and Bailey plans to be on Fox & Friends Saturday in New York.
“It’s really surprising,” Bailey said of the public reaction. “I really didn’t expect it to blow up. I’m surprised that a good deed went viral.”