Track star Meghan Vogel has restored faith in America's youth today in Columbus, Ohio at the Girl's Division III State Track and Field Championship at The Ohio State University.
Vogel, a junior from West Liberty-Salem high school, trained all year to earn her way onto the Buckeye's track. On Saturday, her hard work culminated into a first-place medal in the 1600-meter run. You won't hear much about that first-place finish, however.
Vogel true test came in the 3200-meter race; one in which she came in dead last. Her last-place finish was by choice.
The 3200-meter race requires a runner to run eight laps around the track. Vogel, and the other runners, were in the final lap of the race—beyond tired, out-of-breath, legs weak—their minds focused on a single goal: finish strong.
One girl, Arden McMath—a sophomore from Arlington high school—couldn't finish the race. Her legs cramped up and she lost control and fell within a few meters of the finish line. Vogel witnessed her fallen competitor.
At the height of Vogel's competitiveness—nearing the finish line of the state championship race—she stopped in her tracks. Vogel wouldn't let McMath lie just feet away from the finish line while the other runners finished the race.
Vogel picked McMath up off the track, slung McMath's arm over her shoulder and carried McMath step-by-step across the finish line, making sure McMath finished ahead of her. And the crowd roared.
And in that split-second—where Vogel turned from ultra-competitor to helping her competitor, a girl she had never met before—she cemented her character as a true champion for humanity.
In a time where negativity and despair permeates the news surrounding America's teenage society, one teenager, Meghan Vogel, silenced all critics—even if for just a few moments.