State Association Recognizes Good Sportsmanship And Doesn't DQ Runners

It was a familiar scene on Saturday: one runner helping another in Missouri.

Perhaps it's a bit more rare in state championship meets, but nonetheless it's always a sign of good sportsmanship. 

In October, a runner in Utah helped his teammate to the line in a state title race. This type of action is typically met with disqualification. That's the price some runners pay sometimes for good faith.

Not this time, though. 

The Missouri State High School Association decided not to disqualify Connor Kingsland of Lindbergh High, who helped Central Cape's Jared Neikirk to the line.

Neither runner was disqualified in the Class 4A race for their actions -- not the runner who allowed a competitor to help him across the line, or the runner who knowingly made contact with his competitor all the way toward the finish.

According to Section O of the MSHSA's Championship series rulebook, "A contestant can be disqualified for leaving the course, for interfering with another runner, or receiving assistance."

This rule is backed up by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Neikirk, a junior, actually finished in front of Kingsland in 134th place in 17:45.85. Kingsland was 136th in 17:46.24.

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