Iowa high school runner punished for good deed - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa high school runner punished for good deed

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COLUMBUS JUNCTION (KWWL) -

This Saturday is the Iowa State Cross Country Meet and already, one student athlete is stealing the show.

He helped a rival runner and is being penalized for it.

Zach Houglund is a student at Davis County, in southern Iowa.

He says he had tears of joy after winning the district cross country meet at Columbus Junction on Thursday. After he crossed the finish line, he spotted a runner from another school, who went down. That runner, from Mediapolis, was dehydrated.

Zach saw no one else helping him, so he jumped in and gave him a push to the finish line.

Because of that, Zach was disqualified.

The rule says no runner can help another runner.

The Iowa High School Athletic Association says its hands are tied.

Zach will still be able to compete at the state meet because his team qualified.

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