Winning isn’t everything for 8th grader

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COLORADO SPRINGS — A local 8th grade cross country runner puts winning second after he noticed another runner in the race struggling to make it to the finish line.

The student held back, talked to the runner who faces his own physical challenges and watched him cross the line first to win the race.

Rylee Dibene goes to Colorado Military Academy.

Dibene and the Banning Lewis runner was within strides of each other until Dibene started to hold back. He ultimately let the Banning Lewis runner win the race with a giant smile on his face.

“I started to notice he was having a hard time catching his breath,” Dibene said.

2 laps around Palmer Lake equal two miles for a cross country race.

“A half a lap went by and I was talking to him to see what school he went to and how he was and I looked over and I noticed he only had half arms on each side,” Dibene explained.

So the 8th grader decided to change his pace.

“I said lets see whose faster so we started sprinting I got in front of him so I acted like I tripped and he won,” Dibene added

The runner from Banning Lewis Preparatory Academy took first place and Dibene was right behind to congratulate him.

Jamie Anderson, Dibene’s coach, beaming with pride.

“In a bigger sense this is about people and this encourages people you can want to win and be a good humane being,” Athletic Director of Colorado Mountain Academy Jamie Anderson.

Coach Anderson said this is a perfect example of Dibene’s personality.

“I think a lot of junior high kids they might talk about what they did his comment was I got to do something good and do something for somebody else,” Anderson said.

Dibene just hopes he gained a new friend.

“Hopefully, I want to meet him again and run with him again and meet him outside of running,” Dibene said.

FOX21 reached out to the Banning Lewis Cross Country Team and their head coach said in quote:

“Cross country is a sport that promotes sportsmanship, self discipline and hard work. Every athlete faces different challenges and learns to overcome with with the help of their team and the running community. It’s important to cultivate in young athletes the significance of respecting and encouraging one another while still competing to win. Its always inspiring to see students athletes motivate themselves to achieve their goals.”

Middle School Assistant Cross Country Coach Mahalia Hilts

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