Runner Stops to Help Opponent Across Finish Line

November 17, 2010 Updated Nov 17, 2010 at 8:53 AM EDT

By WKBW Programming

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    Kaylea Rustay of JFK tried to help opponent Molly Shine across the finish line.

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November 17, 2010 Updated Nov 17, 2010 at 8:53 AM EDT

PAWLING, NY (WKBW) - Runners from across the state competed this past Saturday in the state cross county championships in Pawling New York. Molly Shine, a junior from Pearl River High School was running toward the finish line. Her mother, Laura Shine, tells us what she saw, "When I looked and I saw Molly, I could see that something was seriously wrong...because she was literally going in slow motion."

Running a few seconds behind Molly was Kaylea Rustay, a sophomore at JFK High School in Cheektowaga. But, it's what Kaylea did before she crossed the finish line that has her school talking.

Amy Capalbo, Kaylea's varsity cross country coach, saw it happen, "A girl in front of her collapsed and she went up to the girl and stopped and tried to pick her up and carry over the finish line. The girl actually told her to go ahead and finish. After several attempts...Kaylea did finish and the girl crawled over the finish line eventually."

Kaylea told Eyewitness News that, "Without even thinking I just picked her up and I say lets go...lets finish. She was obviously touched. I got a message from her on facebook saying how proud she is of me...and thank you."

Molly has exercise induced asthma. Her mom believes that running in cooler weather produced her extreme shortness of breath. Molly was treated at the meet and then transported to a local hospital. She hopes to run this weekend at a regional meet...but her mom says that probably won't happen.

Laura Shine spent hours on the internet trying find the runner who helped her daughter. Laura contacted officials at JFK High School, "How wonderful we thought it was and how grateful we were...and just asked that if they had an opportunity to honor her sportsmanship. We would appreciate it."

The girls have been in contact. Kaylea hopes to see Molly at next year's competition.