Runner’s Heroic Act of Sportsmanship

While running in a 5k cross-country race, Andover High School (MN) runner Josh Ripley heard Lakeville South runner Mark Paulauskas screams and knew something needed to be done. While other runners whisked by, Ripley stopped and asked Paulauskas if he could help.

Runner’s Heroic Act of Sportsmanship

Noticing that Paulauskas had been spiked by another runner and bleeding profusely, the 6’5″ Ripley picked up the wounded runner and ran back a half a mile to the race’s start to bring him to his coach and parents for aid.

Josh Ripley — Great act of Sportsmanship

“I didn’t think about my race — I knew I needed to stop and help him,” Josh said. “It was something I would expect my other teammates to do. I’m nothing special; I was just in the right place at the right time.”

“I was stunned and so proud of the sportsmanship and kindness he showed to our runner who was injured,” said Jessica Just, the Lakeville South team’s coach. “The family, our Lakeville South coaching staff and our whole team were so thankful and appreciative of Josh’s act of kindness and selflessness to a rival competitor.”


Paulauskas was immediately taken to a hospital where he received more than 20 stitches to close the wound and a walking cast.

As for Ripley, he opted to finish the race. Extending the 3.2 mile race another mile — 1/2 a mile to and fro — didn’t do much for his time, but most would agree that Ripley was undoubtedly a big winner for his heroic action. A great inspirational story!


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