Senior Sean Rausch knew something terrible had happened. His cross-country teammate, Blake Lewis, had just collapsed in front of him, moments from crossing the finish line in the states championship.
Lewis’ mother Brooke heard the snap over her own cheers as her son approached the finish line. “I thought he had stepped on a branch,” she told the media. Blake later explained that he felt a sharp pain about 400 meters from the finish. At 200 meters, he went down. A cyst in Blake’s leg had ruptured causing a sudden and painful break in his tibia.
But, amazingly, perhaps because of all their hard work together, Lewis’ race wasn’t actually over.
Rausch ran over to his teammate and did what we all hope our son would do. He helped a friend, even jeopardizing his own race in the process. Rausch explained, “I put him on my shoulders and he was screaming the whole way, but I kept telling him, ‘We’re a family, we’re a team, and we’re all in this together.'”
Click to watch the incredible video.
Unfortunately, both boys were disqualified due to the rule that a runner can’t touch another runner during a meet. But Rausch has no regrets about the choice he made, as shown in his comments about Lewis’ gratitude.
“As soon as I saw him, I gave him a big hug and told him he’s a hero to me,” Blake Lewis said.
“I’m not a hero, I’m just Blake’s brother,” Rausch said.
You’re hero to us, Mr. Rausch. And a winner in our books, too.