Within 20 feet of the finish line, Arden McMath, a sophomore from Arlington High School, collapsed in front of Vogel. Rather than run by her, Vogel helped McMath to her feet and helped her across the finish line.

The crowd came to its feet with the roar growing louder with each step.

By rule, a runner in track or cross country is automatically disqualified for aiding another runner. In this instance, however, meet management took no action. McMath was given 14th place in 12:29.90 and Vogel 15th in 12:30.24. Vogel made sure McMath crossed the finish line first because she had been ahead of her.