When one of her teammates had an Achilles flare-up right before the 4 x 1,500m relay at the Tennessee Relays last week, Furman University freshman Beth Donnelly didn’t hesitate to step up to the plate, offering to run both the lead and the anchor legs. While the team technically was disqualified (the rules state you must have four different runners to complete a relay), they won the race and their time was a school record.
Coaching FIRST 🙃… One of our 4×1500 legs had a bum Achilles pop up during strides… so we were left with only 3/4 relay members.
Freshmen Beth Donnelly: Let me run lead & anchor leg!
Me: 🤔 WTH… 🤷🏼♀️
— RITA GARY (@RGary2) April 10, 2021
Her coach, Rita Gary, said on Twitter that Donelly opened the race in 4:37, and less than 10 minutes later she ran the anchor leg, crossing the line in 4:53. Her teammates, Emily Little and Kylie Wittman, ran their legs in 4:48 and 4:55, respectively. Gary also explained that the women had all run their primary events the day before, and they doubled back just to practice running consecutive days and simply to have a bit of fun.
“Y’all we were just having FUN!” she said in a response on Twitter. “Feels good to PLAY track & field.”
The response on Twitter to Donnelly’s impressive run was overwhelmingly positive, with most people congratulating the young athlete on her efforts. Although the run won’t count toward the record books, she definitely deserves recognition for being both a great runner and a phenomenal teammate.