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Teen Runner Gains Fame with Her Selfless Act

Postmillennialism —  1 Comment

Dayton Daily News — Meghan Vogel took a nap Wednesday afternoon after another morning in the spotlight. Then she drove south on Route 68 with her friends to go to the Depot Coffeehouse in Urbana. Earlier in the week, the Depot had offered a free drink to whoever brought Vogel in for a visit — such is the life of America’s newest media darling.

Vogel’s crazy week slowed Wednesday afternoon. The West Liberty-Salem High School junior did a quick interview and posed for a photo with a copy of the photo by Mike Ullery, of Piqua Daily Call, that helped make her famous.

“I thought this would blow over in a day or two,” Vogel said, “but it kind of blew up.”

Just four days earlier, when her name was little known outside of Champaign County, Vogel won a state championship in the 1,600-meter run. An hour later, she finished last in the 3,200 after stopping to pick up and help a competitor across the finish line. Arlington sophomore Arden McMath had collapsed 20 yards from the finish.

Damon Christen, of FinishTiming.com, posted a photo of the moment to Facebook and Twitter within 10 minutes of the end of the race. He recognized the significance of the moment.

“Wait till you hear about this,” he texted a friend. “This thing’s going to go viral.”

He was right. Vogel’s split-second decision has inspired people around the world.

By Wednesday afternoon, a video clip of the finish, filmed by a former West Liberty runner, Heather Bumbalough, had received more than 2,500,000 views on YouTube.

“I wasn’t surprised by what she did,” Bumbalough said. “When I saw her coming around the corner, after Arden fell, I was just thinking, ‘She’s going to help.’ Then it crossed my mind she could get disqualified. Then I thought, ‘Oh, no, it’s Megan; she’s still going to do it.’ ”

Christen’s first thought when he saw what happened was that both runners would be disqualified, and that is the rule, said OHSAA track and field administrator Dale Gabor.

“What people need to understand is underlying that whole rule of aiding a runner is the assumption that when you aid a runner you give them an advantage,” Gabor said.

“In this particular case, there was no advantage gained by anyone.”

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One response to Teen Runner Gains Fame with Her Selfless Act

  1. The Meghan Vogel story is one that is reminiscent of a story told by Jesus (Luke 10:30-37). There were even two like-minded OHSAA adminstrators in that story. One is called a priest (vs. 31) and the other a Levite (vs. 32).

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