A little help from a rival…

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This comes courtesy of IHSA Assistant Executive Director Matt Troha in his regular newsletter.

An open letter from Niles North Assistant Athletic Director Megan Wojtulewicz:

November 15, 2011

This Special Report seeks to recognize Maine East Cross Country student-athlete, Saul Lopez during the IHSA Loyola Academy Cross Country Regional. This event took place on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Harms Woods in Skokie, Illinois.

About 2 1/4 miles into the race competitor Aron Sebhat of Niles North, who has severe allergy, collapsed. He was laying on the ground and was helpless. Saul, who was about 40 places behind Aron, saw him on the ground. Saul, who was also experiencing his own problems with asthma during the race and, therefore unable to yell for help, stopped to help Aron. Saul (pictured right, in white) picked Aron up in his arms and and began running slowly with him to get help. The Niles North coach eventually saw Saul carrying Aron and got Aron his epi-pen.

Unfortunately for Saul, he was not able to finish the race. His asthma forced him to drop out and he also needed assistance getting to his inhaler.

The Niles North Athletic Department, boys cross country coaches and student-athletes and family of Aron Sebhat are extremely grateful to Saul Lopez. None of us know what would have happened to Aron had he not received assistance from Saul.

Saul sacrificed his own health and success to help someone in need.

The Niles North Athletic Program knows that the actions Saul took that afternoon not only helped our student-athlete significantly during a potentially dangerous and life threatening situation. We also know that this action by Saul says a lot about the type of person he is. The Niles North Athletic Department, therefore, wishes to recognize Saul Lopez for his choice to help a fellow competitor who was in trouble even though it meant his race would be sacrificed. Saul Lopez models what it means to “DO WHAT’S RIGHT!!”

Photo: Michael Jarecki~For Sun-Times Media

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