Native Runner Carries Injured Competitor ‘Across Finish Line’, Appears on ‘Ellen

Runner Melanie Bailey from Devils Lake High School in North Dakota, carries Danielle LeNoue, a student at South Fargo High School, on her back after LeNoue suffered a knee injury.

Melanie Bailey, a senior at Devils Lake High School in North Dakota, is the kind of runner you want on your team.

On October 11, at the EDC Cross Country Championships in Glyndon, Minnesota, Danielle LeNoue, a Fargo South High School student, was at least a half-mile from the finish line of a 2.4 mile race when she fell. “It happened instantly,” LeNoue told local CNN affiliate WDAY. “I was just running along and felt like a pop in my knee, and down I went.”

LeNoue, who tore her patella tendon and meniscus, said at least 50 other competitors continued to run past her, but Bailey didn’t. “She was just sobbing, I couldn’t leave her,” Bailey told the Devils Lake Journal.

So Bailey stopped, lifted and carried her competitor across the finish line. She finished 178th out of at least 180 runners.

“I feel like I was just doing the right thing,” Bailey said. She is the granddaughter of Cankdeska Cikana Community College President Cynthia Lindquist.

Ellen DeGeneres was so touched by Bailey’s act of kindness that the two girls were invited to come on the Ellen show. “I love this story so much,” DeGeneres said before inviting the pair onstage. “During her final cross country meet of the season, our next guest ended her race early to help an injured runner from a rival high school.

“To me, that is winning the race.”

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