Thursday, April 25, 2024

Middle School Runner Helps Competitor Across Finish Line in Georgia

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Daylon Meeks Cross Country

A young Georgia athlete is receiving high praise for something more important than winning: sportsmanship.

Daylon Meeks is a two-sport athlete at Treutlen County Middle School in the tiny "two-stoplight town" of Soperton. In addition to playing football, Meeks is the only eighth-grade boy on the school's cross-country team.   

According to his cross-country coach Kristy Versprille, Meeks has been improving his two-mile time at every meet, which is why she was surprised when he didn't cross the finish line during a recent matchup against Mount De Sales Academy.

"I kept waiting for him based on his previous times and one-mile split, but he wasn't there," Versprille recalls. "I was starting to worry and had started to go look for Daylon. Four-and-a-half minutes later than his expected time, I see Daylon with another young runner."

That other young runner was Aiden Duque of Mount De Sales Academy. Duque told WGXA that he and Meeks were neck-and-neck when he stepped in a hole and twisted his ankle during the middle of the race.

"I was crying," Roque said. "I was in so much pain."

Instead of taking advantage of the situation, Meeks stopped and helped him up.

"I didn't want to just leave him there," Meeks told the local news station. "So, I stopped and sat there for a minute and proceeded to pick him up and take him to the finish line."

"He stopped, he helped me up," Roque said. "And let me put most of my pressure onto his arm and ran about the last 300 meters with me to finish the race."

Versprille said she was immediately proud of Meeks.

"The coach in me is very competitive; yet, nowadays, I would rather see the compassion shared than a 'W,'" she said.

Great job, Daylon!

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