I witnessed a moment at the Sehome track meet March 18 that I will never forget. Sehome junior runner Emily Pittis will be remembered as one of the all-time great runners that Whatcom County will ever have the pleasure of watching - her resume in both cross country and track speaks for itself.
Yesterday, she did not set a record time in any of the events that she raced in, that is not the moment that I will never forget. What she did was bigger.
She was warming down on the infield at the meet, when she noticed a Sehome freshman 800 meter runner looking nervous, and ready to walk off the track before her event started. Emily walked onto the track, lined up behind her, and said, "Hey, I got you! Let's run!" And so they did.
Emily Pittis ran with the rookie, around the track twice, constantly encouraging her. "You can do this," "Only one more lap!" When they crossed the finish line, the freshman was spent. But she was smiling too. The "rookie" said, "Thank you!" I am unclear how many people in the stands saw that moment yesterday. I saw it because I was the announcer, and happened to be right there at the finishing line.
It was one of the greatest acts of sportsmanship that I have ever witnessed. Emily's act is exactly what we all hope we can be and hope we would have done in a similar circumstance. Thank you for that Emily, we are better people because it!
- Kevin F. Johnson of Bellingham, via Letters to the Editor
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