Meghan Vogel had a career day on Saturday.
Maybe it’s a stretch to state that a high school junior could have a career day, especially considering continuous development as an athlete at that age. However, this Ohio teenager most certainly had a career day in regards to displaying character makeup during competition.
Earlier in the day, Vogel throttled her competition in the girls 1600m race, busting the 5 minute mark, and posting a time of 4:58.31. This was a new personal-record–it broke her current school record and also scored her a gold medal at the Ohio Division III High School State Track Meet. This also served to bridge an exceptional gap for her school, West Liberty-Salem High School–the school hadn’t enjoyed a girls state champion in any event since 1984. After enjoying the accolades associated with taking the top title, Vogel had to get back to the task at hand: Running races.
For those who have run track, you’re well versed in how meets are set up. In the high school track realm, some of the most grueling races are held at the end of the meet, after competitors have laid it on the line in other events and are often left without much of a leg to stand on, much less two to run on.
Vogel would finish her day in the longest race of the meet, the 3200m. The distance is roughly 2 miles. On the last lap of the race, Megan Vogel encountered a most interesting scenario. Arden McMath, a sophomore from Arlington, OH, collapsed on the track due to cramps, with the finish line in view. Without hesitation, Vogel stopped, picked up McMath, threw an arm around her and limped her to the finish line. When they got to the line, Vogel turned McMath to cross first, while she herself graciously accepted the last place finish.
According to meet rules, Vogel should have been disqualified for aiding a competitor. Fortunately, there was enough wisdom on site with the ability to discern the intent from the letter of the law, and the rule was ignored.
Once the crowd calmed down, Meghan offered the following statement to the local journalist covering the meet:
Helping her across the finish line was a lot more satisfying than winning the state championship.