High school runners disqualified for helping opponent finish race

Two high school runners in Minnesota have been disqualified in the state girls cross country meet for helping an opponent who fell.

Senior Kailee Kiminski, of Esko, and junior Tierney Winter, of Janesville, forfeited the race last weekend after assisting Jackson County Central freshman Jessica Christoffer cross the finish line. All three were disqualified due to a high school league rule prohibiting the assistance of another runner.

"I just got tired and I fell, and it wasn't good, and then there were two girls that helped me ... helped me finish and it was really nice of them," Christoffer told KEYC-TV. "I'm really thankful for them. It means a lot to me. It means I accomplished my goal of running at state and doing well."

Winter said she had no choice when seeing Christoffer fall just 50 meters from the finish line.

"I couldn't leave her there," she told the station. "I saw a couple of pictures online before, I've seen girls help each other out, so I was like, I'll help her out and we'll see what happens ... I wouldn't want to be left out there if it was me, so I just thought of myself there, too."

Winter helped Christoffer "just to be a friend," she said.

"A friend of a runner I guess," she told the station.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.