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Devils Lake runner carries injured Fargo South runner during championship race

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Glyndon, MN (WDAY TV) - Every once in a while in athletics, the scoreboard; who wins and who loses just doesn't matter.

Saturday, more than 20 teams and hundreds of competitors competed in the EDC Cross Country Championship.

The real winner?  A show of compassion; a young woman from Devils Lake, who finished 8-and-a-half minutes behind the first place finisher.

This picture says it all. Devils Lake Senior Melanie Bailey carrying a distraught and injured Fargo South runner Danielle LeNoue…

Danielle LeNoue- Fargo South Runner: “I was past the two-mile mark; close to the finish line.”

…at the EDC Cross Country Meet held at the Ponderosa Golf Course near Glyndon.

LeNoue: “It happened instantly and felt like a pop in my knee… Down I went.”

“My left leg.”

Danielle, just back from the doctor Thursday, hurt her knee. Her left leg buckled during the run… That fast… An injury to her patella tendon.

LeNoue: “Just sobbing and so I started walking and I could not go any farther and she said, ‘here, hop on my back,’ half my size.”

The good Samaritan was Devils Lake High School runner Melanie Bailey…

Melanie Bailey: Devils Lake Runner: “All I could think about was she was in a lot of pain.  And I wanted to help her.”

…A competitor, who says she was doing the right thing.

Bailey: "Honestly, I loved the way I ended it. It was a great way to end my cross country season.”

Now this is what winning is all about: Two runners finishing the race together, one carrying the other… Because that's what you do.

LeNoue: “So nice, she didn't have to do that. How many people ran past me? And she stopped.”

The two girls have been Facebooking each other. Strangers now friends. It's good to give someone the shirt off your back; even better to carry them on it when they're down.

LeNoue: “Pretty cool, touching moment for me.”

And the Devils Lake Senior plans a career in physical therapy. 

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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