Skip to main content

North Dakota high school runner carries injured competitor on back

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A cross country runner at Devils Lake High School in North Dakota ignored an injured opponent's repeated requests to "go on," instead carrying her competitor a quarter mile to get medical attention.

“She was just sobbing, I couldn’t leave her,” Melanie Bailey, a varsity senior, told the Devils Lake Journal. “I feel like I was just doing the right thing.”

Bailey found Danielle Lenoue, a runner for Fargo South, limping and crying in pain on the course, the paper reported, and carried the athlete piggyback-style to get help.

Lenoue later found out she'd torn both her patellar tendon and meniscus, the Journal said.

The patellar tendon connects a person's kneecap (the patella) to his or her shin bone, Mayo Clinic says.

According to, the tendon is "instrumental in allowing a person to straighten his/her leg." A torn patellar tendon usually requires surgery to repair, and comes with a recovery time of four to six months, the site says.

Small, incomplete tears, however, "respond well" to nonsurgical treatment options, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says. Treatment generally requires the use of an immobilizing brace to keep the knee straight for three to six weeks, as well as the use of crutches. Some strengthening exercises are usually prescribed as well, the academy says.

This embed is invalid

At all levels of sport, there are even more similarstories ofathletes helpinginjured opponents.

In 2011 in Minnesota, an Andover High School cross-country runner carried to safety a Lakeville opponent bleeding out of a 3-inch gash in his ankle, the Pioneer Press reported.

And in 2012, a Blaine High School junior ran side-by-side with a cross-country competitor, lending support after he'd fallen down with an injury, KARE 11 reported.

This embed is invalid

Next Up

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota strike.

Twin Cities mental health workers gather for 1-day strike

More than 400 mental health workers are participating in the unionized strike on Tuesday.

Bloomington Fire

HAZMAT team at Bloomington hotel following chemical spill in pool

The fire department said two hotel employees are being evaluated by paramedics.

Screen Shot 2022-03-24 at 9.21.32 AM

Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities gets $6M of Mackenzie Scott donation

The donation is the largest the organization has ever seen from a single individual.

Hennepin Avenue S.

Minneapolis accused of backtracking on 24/7 bus lanes for Hennepin Ave.

The Minneapolis City Council is set to vote on Thursday.

Pexels - face mask covid holding

Duluth brings back masking in city buildings amid COVID surge

Duluth, in one of the state's current COVID hotspots, has brought back a mask requirement in city buildings.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, May 24

Minnesota has now surpassed 12,600 COVID deaths.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Violent Offender Task Force in standoff with suspect in St. Cloud

Police announced the standoff at 10:14 a.m. Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2022-03-26 at 11.08.59 AM

Cause of fire that destroyed Waterville bar remains unknown

The fire destroyed the Funky Munky Bar and damaged several other properties.

dicks house of sport Minnetonka_48

Pro athletes to attend opening of Minnetonka Dick's Sporting Goods

The grand opening is set for June 3, with special guests appearing June 3-5.

Minneapolis police

Death of man found inside Minneapolis apartment ruled homicide

Anyone with information about the killing is asked to call 1-800-222-8477.

minnesota state fair bandshell concert

Minnesota State Fair reveals its free concert lineup for 2022

More than 900 performances will happen across numerous stages.

Jason DeRusha

Jason DeRusha stepping down as morning news anchor at WCCO

His last day anchoring WCCO This Morning will be June 23.


Prep runner rescues injured foe, finishes race

Andover High School cross country runner Josh Ripley is getting the hero’s treatment. Josh picked up an injured competitor during a race and carried him a quarter-mile to get medical help.