True sportsmanship is revealed in these kinds of acts.
Any athlete will appreciate just how much effort goes in to preparing for a running season. So, after hours of training and dedication, the all-important state championship qualifier is a crucial race. Yet sophomore Samantha Wallenstrom from Marin Catholic, in California, jeopardized her big race by stopping to help a fellow competitor.
In the 800m race, fellow competitor and reigning champion Rayna Stanziano of Concord was ahead of the race in very wet conditions. With not long to go, Stanziano fell and Wallenstrom found herself in the lead.
“I was confused because she didn’t look like she was faltering at all, so I kind of passed her, didn’t know what to do, and then I turned around and said, ‘No, l should probably go back and help,’” she explained to The Mercury News.
In true sporting style, Wallenstrom stopped to reach out a hand to her fallen friend, before going on to finish the race in 2 minutes and 13.49 seconds. Stanziano managed to finish second thanks to Wallenstrom’s sportsmanship, and the two girls went on to qualify for state championships.
St. Joseph Notre Dame’s Emily Perez (12) and Marin Catholic’s Samantha Wallenstrom (1) help Concord’s Rayna Stanziano (2) off the track after a fall in the girls 800 meters at the NCS Meet of Champions. @DarrenSabedra @VytasMazeika @CurtisPashelka pic.twitter.com/LGAVh3uOCn— Phil Jensen (@JensenPhil) May 19, 2019
One week after the fall, the young athletes were back on the track ready to compete in the state championship – even though Wallenstrom had been nursing a head cold and a tweaked Achilles tendon. In the exciting final, Wallenstrom came from third position to win the race, while also managing to achieve a new personal best at 2 minutes and 8.78 seconds.
After this noteworthy victory Wallenstrom went up to receive her medal and was also honored with the Pursuit Of Victory With Honor award by the CIF – the Californian Interscholastic Federation. A very worthy award for a young woman who understands the true meaning of sportsmanship.