Southern New Hampshire's Parks and Smith Honored at National Sportsmanship Awards
For Immediate Release
May 5, 2011
Courtesy of the Southern New Hampshire Sports Information Department
St. Louis, Mo. – Southern New Hampshire University men's cross country student-athletes Tyler Parks and Mike Smith were recently honored at the 2011 National Sportsmanship Awards produced by the St. Louis Sports Commission. The duo were one of 15 groups and individuals honored.
On Saturday, October 10, 2009, Parks and Smith were competing for the So. New Hampshire men's cross country team at Boston's Franklin Park in the New England Championship when they came across an unconscious runner at approximately the 3.5 mile mark of the eight-kilometer course.
The pair stopped to assist the runner, who was face down, and after initial efforts to wake him by yelling at him, Parks and Smith took a hold of him. The runner regained consciousness and remembered his name, but could not remember where he was until the pair told him.
Each with one of the runner's arms over his shoulders, both Smith and Parks proceeded to carefully take the runner out of the woods to an area with more spectators and to the nearest medical tent. His legs were weak and he was unable to walk on his own, but the two escorted him out of the woods to find an ambulance pulling up in preparation to take the runner away.
The runner was running a time of 28 minutes for the five-mile course, so when Parks and Smith reached him at the 29-minute mark, they speculate the runner had been there for three to four minutes, and that possibly more than 100 runners had already passed the unconscious athlete.
The unconscious runner turned out to be fine, as he was suffering from dehydration.
As a result of their act, neither Parks nor Smith finished the race, leaving So. New Hampshire with just five runners, the minimum required to post a team score.
Earlier, Parks and Smith were honored with the 2009-10 NCAA Sportsmanship Award, the 2009-10 Northeast-10 Conference Male Sportsmanship Award, and also received the 2009-10 So. New Hampshire Male Sportsmanship Award.
The National Sportsmanship Awards celebrates all that's right in sports. Produced annually by the St. Louis Sports Commission and the Citizenship Through Sports Alliance, the event highlights the most remarkable examples of sportsmanship. It honors athletes and personalities from around the nation for their integrity, class, selflessness, perseverance, kindness, community service and overall commitment to sportsmanship.
Past recipients of the National Sportsmanship Award include Major League Baseball players Albert Pujols, Tony Gwynn and Craig Biggio, pro football players Aeneas Williams and Marc Bulger and several college and high school athletes from across the country. To learn more about the award presentation, visit stlsports.org/awards.