HS Cross Country Runner Wins District Finals, Is Disqualified For Going Back To Help Runner In Distress
Is this in time to be added to the questions for tonight's Republican debate?
It happened in Columbus Junction, Iowa, where Zach Hougland of Davis County High had just won the district cross country finals, becoming the first runner from his school to ever win the title and qualify for the state finals. But as he was receiving congratulations, he looked back down the track and saw a runner from another team had collapsed before finishing.
Houghland pointed at the runner and yelled, "Is someone going to help him?" When no one did, Houghland ran back onto the track. WHOTV.com:
"I see this kid, he's like dying and what not, and he's about ready to fall," said Zach. The runner's name was Garrett Hinson from Mediapolis.
Davis County Cross Country coach Josh Husted said, "He saw this runner on the ground unconscious and it seemed he wasn't getting the medical attention he needed." So Zach jumped back on the course and helped Garrett. "It was about 15 meters from the finish line," Zach said. "I did it for seven meters, so he had about eight left. I knew I couldn't help him finish so I just gave him a push and told him you can do it."
Zach said Garret Hinson's mother quickly expressed her gratitude, "She said I was her hero."
But in Iowa, no good deed goes unpunished. By going back onto the track to help another runner, Houghland had broken National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) rules, and was thus disqualified.
Empathy-challenged human rulebook Bud Legg of the Iowa High School Athletic Association said in a statement: "An athlete who receives or gives assistance to another runner in the same race is disqualified. While it was a sportsmanlike act to help someone in distress it remained a violation and the official had no choice but to enforce the rule."
"The official had no choice", meaning that the U.S. Army would have been dispatched to Columbus Junction and all officials would be arrested and sent to Guantanamo Bay. Because high school athletics rules must be strictly enforced down to every period and Oxford comma, and ... wait, was this IHSAA statement written on computer paper?? Official district statements must be written on 18-lb. bond continuous form paper! Dispose of these and start over, Miss Elkins! Do it over right now!!
"I didn't want anyone to see me break down because I couldn't take it. I did all that hard work for nothing."
When asked if he would change his actions if he could, Zach replied, "If I could do it all again I wouldn't change a thing because I did what I thought was right."
And one again we see scholastic athletics totally miss the mark concerning their mission. Are we a nation of people, or things? Are we to be governed by the letter of the law, or our own God-given sense of morality and justice? Isn't Zach Houghland exactly the kind of kid who you'd want your child to be (I mean, without those horrific grades in home economics)?
This is exactly the time of life when kids should be learning important lessons that lift humanity, not dusty, hidebound ones that keep us down. Nice job, Iowa. Now go back to your business of choosing a Presidential candidate who will have not a chance in Hades of winning.
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