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

Tettegouche State Park bridge

Trails reopen as waters subside, but bridges damaged at Tettegouche State Park

Water levels on the river have dropped about six to eight feet since Friday.

Keith Harvell

Body pulled from Mississippi River ID'd as missing Elk River man

Keith Harvell had been missing since early last month.

900 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - July 2021

2 victims identified in double-fatal north Minneapolis shooting

A 21-year-old man and a 51-year-old man were identified as the people who died at the scene this past weekend.

Proctor football

Former Proctor HS football player pleads guilty to sexual assault of teammate

The case will also remain in juvenile court, with conditions.

Doug Wardlow

Doug Wardlow reneges on promise, will challenge GOP's AG candidate in primary

Wardlow's announcement sparked swift criticism from the MN GOP and the party-endorsed candidate, Jim Schultz.

Flickr - welcome to minnesota sign - Tony Webster

US News '150 Best Places to Live' features 1 from MN, 3 from WI

The latest US News list is for the most populous metro areas only, so no small towns.


7 tornadoes touched down last week in western MN, ND

Two of the seven were EF-2 level tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, May 17

72 hours of case data reported over the weekend is included in Tuesday updates.

Stallings surveillance footage - screengrab - crop

City of Minneapolis, Jaleel Stallings reach $1.5M settlement

Although a settlement was made, the city will not admit fault or take any responsibility for the incident as part of the agreement with Stallings.


2 rescued after kayaks capsize on Sauk River

Recent heavy rainfall produced a strong currents on the water.


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.