Perfect Example of Sportsmanship

Perfect Example of Sportsmanship


This is it. The state championship. Runners wait all year for this one race. Only the best are here – the best teams, the best runners – all competing for a state championship. You ran all those pre-season miles, you did all that speed work during the season and you pushed yourself thru invitationals, districts and regional meets.

It’s all come down to this. You round the final turn of the state championship. Less than 100 yards to go. You kick it into high gear. Can you picture the scene? It’s happened millions of times over countless years  in state meets across the country.

Only this time, something is different. This time something is in your way. No wait, it’s someone. Crawling on the ground is a runner from an opposing school. Other girls are running around her. Without thinking… without hesitation, Grand Rapids West Catholic runner, Maggie Duba stops… bends over… picks her up… says words of encouragement… locks arms with this unknown runner… wills her to the finish line… they finish the state meet one after the other.

“I was like, you got to get her up, like she’s got to finish. This is also like way too close for her” not to finish, Duba said. “I wanted her to be able to finish, so I just, I kind of grabbed her and talked to her a little bit and was like, ‘You can’t not finish,’ just kind of putting that into her mind.”

Maggie Duba’s mother is also her daughter’s coach. As this coach and mother waited at the finish line for her daughter to maybe achieve a personal best time, she saw her daughter exemplify a different “personal best.” As the crowd applauded this selfless act, Coach Duba grew more and more proud of her daughter for showing such sportsmanship to a complete stranger.

In the time that it took Maggie Duba to help Sarah Storey from Chippewa Hills, 10-20 runners ran past them to the finish line. However, after the race, Maggie had zero regrets. “I’m sure she (Sarah) would’ve done the same thing for me, too,” Maggie said with a sense of satisfaction.

Your Turn: Do you think Maggie did the right thing by helping this runner cross the finish line or should she have just focused on finishing the race?

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