Zachary Hougland, a 17-year-old senior and member of Iowa's Davis High School cross country team has been stripped of his first-place title — because he helped an injured rival to finish the race.
Hougland competed at a meet last week and finished first, according to WHOtv.com. But after he crossed the finish line, the teen looked back at the course and saw a runner from an opposing team, Garret Hinson of Mediapolis High School collapse.
"Is anyone going to help him?, " he shouted before running back to lift Hinson and carry him to the finish line.
But despite his act of kindness, officials told him it was grounds for disqualification according to National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) rules, and rescinded his winning title.
Hougland will be able to compete in the state championships as part of a team because his classmates qualified — but not as a solo competitor.
And nobody was more upset than the runner Hougland helped.
"When I first found out from his coach that he had been disqualified," Hinson told ABC. "I was more upset over that than I had been over how my own race had went.
"Cross-country is a sport that takes months of dedication and training. To take away someone's chances at a state run for helping out someone that was obviously struggling when it was too late to have really affected any results doesn't seem right."
In a statement to ABC, administrator Jared Chizek said: "NFHS rules do not allow a competitor to receive or give assistance from or to another competitor during a race.
"If a competitor receives or gives assistance, that competitor is disqualified from the event."
"If I could do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing because I did what I thought was right."
And while Hougland won't have the chance to win an individual title, the runner told WHOtv.com he has no regrets about what he did.
Too bad they don't give out trophies for benevolence.