Kara Shibley was on her way to setting a personal record as she passed the 1-mile mark at the 48th annual Richland Invitational.
The Hanford High School senior was one of the competitors at the Oct. 8 cross-country meet. She was running next to a competitor from Seattle Preparatory School as she reached a flat area of the course.
As they were running, the competitor passed out. As the girl was falling, she tapped Shibley’s hand.
“I just wanted to make sure she was OK. I’m a pretty motherly person, and I just really care for everybody on my team, and cross country is such a community that (we) all look out for each other,” she said.
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Shibley moved the girl to the side of the course and checked to make sure she had a pulse. Shibley tried to get a response.
“I kept trying to call her, and tell her she was going to be OK ... but she wasn’t responding. So I started to yell for help,” Shibley said.
Shibley’s teammate, Kersten Lucas, said she was approaching the area when she saw her teammate and the girl.
“I was concerned,” she said. “It was just kind of instinct, I guess.”
Lucas went to get a parent.
“Someone’s life is more important than a race,” Lucas said. “So if something is really wrong with her, then I (would) rather help than get a really good spot in the race.”
Head coach Sean Mars said that when he arrived, some of the high school-aged boys called 911. When the Seattle Prep competitor was examined by medical staff, they determined that she was able to travel. It’s unknown why she passed out.
Mars said he wasn’t surprised by Shibley’s and Lucas’ actions.
“I’m a coach and this is going to sound totally cliché, but I’ve got some of the best kids around,” he said. “Cross-country is always a great group of kids, but this group of girls is amazing, There are more than these two that this would have done this.”