Eastern Randolph High School runner puts team before herself

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RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — The girls cross country team at Eastern Randolph High School made history on Saturday, qualifying for the State Championship for the first time.

One hiccup almost threw a wrench in the team’s chance at the title, but the quick thinking and selfless act of one teammate put them back on track.

“She made the decision that she was going to let her teammate run,” said Mike Luther, the Eastern Randolph High School cross country coach.

A decision made in a split second by freshman runner Madison East, after her teammate was in jeopardy of being disqualified from the biggest race of the year.

“I was like super nervous because this is state, this is huge because we’ve never been as a team before,” said East.

During the team’s uniform check officials learned one of the runners for the school had on the wrong pair of shorts.

There was a second logo on the waistband, which is not allowed according to rules set by the state for high school athletics.

“I was feeling so devastated knowing that like all my hard work for the season it’s just like all gone for the race that really only matters it’s just heartbreaking,” said Emma Luther, an Eastern Randolph High School cross country runner.

But the girls’ coach says East refused to let that happen.

“She didn’t ask Emma, she said you are wearing my shorts, it was not like anybody had a choice to say anything,” said Coach Luther.

“We run over to our parents and we circle all around us and we just switched shorts real fast and then she went up and they set off the gun and she ran,” said East.

East cheered her teammates on from the sidelines, and watched them finish 13 in the state in 2A out of 19 teams.

“I mean people don’t think of cross country as being a team sport, but that is the ultimate team move in any sport I’ve ever seen personally with my own eyes,” said Coach Luther.

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