Utah seventh grader helps friend cross the finish line of school race

May 24, 2024, 12:29 PM | Updated: 4:42 pm

(Copper Mountain Middle School)...

(Copper Mountain Middle School)

(Copper Mountain Middle School)

HERRIMAN— A seventh grader is being praised for helping his friend cross the finish line at their school race.

Nate Wegwitz and Rykien Evans are friends and 7th graders at Copper Mountain Middle School.

They decided they both wanted to participate in “Running of the Colts,” which is a race at the end of the school year in honor of the school’s mascot.

“It’s a one mile race where we have the kids race around the boundaries or the border of our school grounds,” Angela Thompson, the Department Chair of Copper Mountain Middle School’s PE Department, said.

The race has grown over the years and allows interested students or staff to run while everyone else cheers them on.

“We got 188 on the field on the course today which we’re really happy about,” Thompson said.

Participants each are awarded a medal and a t-shirt along with some other prizes.

The race presents a unique challenge since Rykien is in a wheelchair.

“People say that this wheelchair is super fast and Nate came up with the idea that we should just do running of the colts,” Rykien said.

They began the race with Nate pushing Rykien – which worked well, until they hit the grass. Nate said the chair was difficult to push in the grass and Rykien said woodchips were getting caught in the wheels. But they didn’t let that stop them.

“We had one of my friends, Chase, he took my wheelchair to the side that where we get off the hill and then we just ran the rest of the way,” Rykien said.

“And I picked him up and ran with him and also helped him walk at times,” Nate said.

It wasn’t an easy run for Nate and Rykien, but they were determined to finish the race.

“Well it’s kind of hard when you run and are trying to carry someone at the same time,” Nate said

“He may have fell once,” Rykien said.

“Once or twice, but we finished in the end so it worked out,” Nate said with a smile.

Adults who were watching as the pair crossed the finish line said they were touched by the scene.

“I didn’t know they were doing that and so when I saw them in the gym I was hoping everything would be okay,” Thompson said. “But when I saw them at the finish line I honestly got a little teary because it was cool to see Nate pushing Rykien through the finish.”

For Nate and Rykien, it was just about being there for a friend.

“I have the best friends, they’re amazing, they’re always super helpful in everything I need,” Rykien said.

“We love it when students step up and they’re kind and help others. It’s something we focus on a lot in our classes — I’m sure the other classes do as well — but in P.E. we talk about being a good sport, helping the other kid, coaching, teaching, helping, it’s not just about winning, it’s about being a better person and to see Rykien and Nate doing that it feels good,” Thompson said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

The Java Espress Beverage Company sign in Clearfield, Utah....

Lauren Steinbrecher

Clearfield soda shop going for a world record, and they need help

A Clearfield drink shop wants the world to know that Utah's soda game reigns supreme by breaking a Guinness World Record on Saturday. But they need your help.

4 hours ago

Braden Storrs neighbor's house catching on fire as some of the flames damaged another home and his ...

Andrew Adams

Neighbors believe cottonwood seeds helped spread fire to house in Springville

Springville neighbors believe cottonwood seeds contributed to the spread of a fire that destroyed one home and damaged another on Thursday night.

5 hours ago

Bangerter Highway...

Michael Houck and Garna Mejia, KSL TV

Bangerter Highway bridge shut down for the weekend for bridge repairs

A major highway that leads to the Salt Lake City International Airport will be closed for repairs starting Friday at 8 p.m.

7 hours ago

President Jóhannesson (2nd left) speaking to the Utah delegates who are visiting his country....

Mike Anderson and Michael Houck, KSL TV

Building on Utah’s pioneer-era ties with Iceland

While the Utah delegation explored the state's potential of using geothermal energy in Iceland, a pioneer-era connection grew the bond between the two.

7 hours ago

West Valley City Police Department squad cars followed a stolen car and took two juveniles into cus...

Larry D. Curtis

1 teen, 2 guns recovered after traffic stop on suspected stolen car in Kearns

One teen was taken into custody, and two guns were collected by police in Kearns after a traffic stop

7 hours ago

Milestone Transitional Living Program opened a new transitional living facility for young adults Fr...

Emma Benson

Salt Lake County opens new home for homeless young adults

The Salt Lake County Youth Services Milestone Transitional Living Program is working to address the issue of kids "aging out" of foster care, and opened a new facility Friday to help young adults get on their feet.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Utah seventh grader helps friend cross the finish line of school race