Lincoln, NE

Student collapses during race, competitor lifts him to cross finish line together: “I’m not going to forget that”

Amy Christie

Brandon Schutt, who is a senior at Bellevue East, has likely taken part in his final cross-country event for high school. He was competing with sophomore Blake Cerveny of Omaha Burke in a 3.1-mile race.

When he saw the sophomore crumble in the last 75 meters of the race, he only had a few seconds to make his choice. And he didn’t want his competitor to always remember how he fell and didn’t get to finish.

What are the details?

The race took place at Pioneers Park in Lincoln, Nebraska. Brandon was trailing Blake by about 30 meters when the sophomore suddenly fell to the ground, according to Epoch Times. Brandon already knew what it’s like to fail close to the finish line, so he made up his mind to avoid that for Blake.

“I would never wish that experience on anyone,” he shared with cross-country reporter Jay Slagle who capture the turn of events and then posted it on social media.

Brandon didn’t think twice about it and reached to lift the sophomore. For a few seconds, it didn’t seem like Blake would be able to get up and continue.

“Just leave me,” he told the other student.

But Brandon still helped, and Blake managed to get up. Together they made it to the finish line, and the crowd cheered on as the athletes ended their race.

Even though neither of them made it to state championships, Brandon’s sportsmanly action shows there is still kindness and that sometimes helping someone matters more than anything.

Blake had fallen four times during that race until the final one when he couldn’t get up until Brandon came to help.

“His legs had given everything they had, but they were finally done,” Slagle said, according to Preprunningnerd.

“Sports teaches many lessons, and working through adversity is one of the greatest benefits of cross country.”

“He got up, and I was like, ‘Wow, I’ve never seen that before.’ Normally a runner goes down, he stays down, and the fact that he kept getting up was incredible to me,” Brandon said for NBC Nightly News.

Brandon had to give up about three positions to help the other student. Even though he was disqualified for getting that boost, Blake was grateful for the support.

“He didn’t care about what place he got, he cared that he helped someone else. I thank him a lot, I really appreciate what he did, and I’m not going to forget that,” he concluded.

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

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