North Dakota high school runner carries injured competitor on back

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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 SportsMD.com, 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.

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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.

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