Power of Sportsmanship

Talk about a roller coaster ride. Nicole Cochran, of Tacoma Washington, won the 3200 meter run before being DQ’ed. Then in a somewhat emotional moment following the official awards ceremony, fellow competitors traded off the medals, giving Cochran the first place medal. To top it all off 10 days later, she was officially reinstated as the winner!

Confused? Yea re-read all that, or here is the blurp from the Tri-City Herald

Cochran, you might recall, is the Bellarmine Prep senior who apparently won the race after surging past leader Sandra Martinez of Davis with about 550 meters to go in the race — only to have been judged to have run on the inside lane line for at least three consecutive strides, an infraction that led to her disqualification.

After her coaches appealed the decision (denied, of course — otherwise, that’d be the end of the story), Shadle Park’s Andrea Nelson walked off the awards podium after receiving the first-place medal and immediately draped it around Cochran’s neck, saying, “You’re the state champion.”

The rest of the medal-winners then gathered around Cochran and had a medal exchange, with each handing their medal to the person who finished one spot ahead of her — for instance, Redmond’s Sarah Lord handed the second-place medal to Nelson and was given the third-place medal by teammate Devin McMahon, who got the fourth-place medal from Gig Harbor’s Kate Stuart, and so on down the line …

The original story even made ESPN headlines, but was pretty much the same story.

Subsequent reviews of a flotrack video showed that it wasn’t actually Cochran who should have been DQ’ed but a teammate. She was eventually reinstated as the official winner by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

It is great that she can officially call herself the state champion. But it is quite impressive that athletes at that level can be so self-less and have such a high level of sportsmanship. They should be applauded for their actions.


[tags] Nicole Cochran, WIAA [/tags]

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