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Cross country runner puts best time aside to help opponent

He was going to beat his personal best, but he just had to stop to help someone in need.
He was going to beat his personal best, but he just had to stop to help someone in need.

Jakob Muntz has been on the Kennedy High School cross country team for three years.

In that time, he's never broken the 20-minute mark for a timed 5K race. This past Thursday, with the finish line in sight, he was about to.

"He was doing really well," said his coach, Amber McNew. "He was going to PR his race, which means his personal best. And then he didn't."

Why did he stop? Well, because he came across a fellow competitor from another team, who wasn't doing too well.

"He was wobbling, and I started holding him up," Muntz said. "Pretty soon, I was holding him up. He was getting really weak."

Pretty soon, Muntz's time for this race became secondary, he just wanted to help.

"He was there, he needed help," he said. "I wasn't going to leave him."

His coach explained that cross country is a very personal sport; it's all about your personal time. Jakob was staring his best time ever down when he stopped to help someone else. That act, almost brought her to tears.

"I did tear up, and then I told his mom, and teared up again," McNew said.

"I'm just proud of him and what's he's accomplished in his running career," Muntz' mom, Jane Robbins said.

His teammates say they weren't surprised Jakob helped someone else out, that's what he's like.

The senior captain is clearly leading by example.