BLAINE, Minn. (KARE) - In the sport of cross country success and failure is usually measured by the clock, where seconds can mean the difference between winning and also-ran status.
But at a recent meet Blaine High School junior Tom Anderson proved he was a winner, even though his time was not among those who crossed the finish line first.
Anderson was about 2 miles into a 5K race at Majestic Oaks Country Club when he saw a competitor from Irondale fall to the ground with an injury. Anderson instinctively ran to the young man, picked him up, put his arm around the teen's shoulders and slowly began running with him.
The two ran side by side, with Anderson supporting his fellow runner, for about half a mile until the Irondale athlete was able to continue on his own. Anderson did cross the finish line, with a significantly slower time than he would normally have turned in.
Blaine Cross Country Coach Rachel Karel was not at all surprised by what Tom did. She says he is a natural leader, the kind of young man who teammates are just drawn to.