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She ain’t heavy, she’s my sister

Fans at the state junior high school track meet were treated to a remarkable sight: a girl carrying her injured twin sister to the finish line. We salute the Gruenke twins for their sportsmanship.

Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT
(AP photo/Courtesy of Ted Crail)
Claire Gruenke, an eighth-grade student at Wesclin Junior High School in Trenton, carries her twin sister, Chloe, to the finish line in the 800-meter run at the state junior high school track meet Saturday in Carterville. During the race, Chloe fell to the ground with a muscle strain, so Claire carried her the rest of the way.
(AP photo/Courtesy of Ted Crail)
Chloe (left) and Claire pose.

Twin sisters usually have much in common and do a lot to help each other during their lifetimes.

That kind of friendship is heartwarming to behold.

Such a relationship was on full display Saturday during the state junior high school track meet in Carterville, not far from Carbondale.

Claire and Chloe Gruen-ke are eighth-grade twins who attend Wesclin Junior High School in Trenton. Running in an 800-meter race, they had gotten more than halfway through when trouble struck.

Chloe suffered a painful muscle strain and tumbled to the ground.

Claire, her sister, could have kept running.

Instead, she stopped, helped Chloe up, and carried her piggyback for the remaining 350 meters. At the finish line, Claire lowered Chloe to the ground, and they crossed the line together.

Although they finished last, they certainly were first in the hearts of stunned track fans who stood and loudly applauded the girls.

Their coach, Ted Crail, was similarly moved.

“This was the first time I ever had tears in my eyes at one of the meets,” he said.

Upon reading the Associated Press story about the piggyback finish, we brushed back a tear, too.

We salute Claire for being such a great sister to Chloe. We hope their example of sportsmanship is an inspiration to others.

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