Corning High School senior John McCarthy was leading in the final lap of a seven-lap race at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association finals in Cicero, New York, when tragedy struck.
As McCarthy tried leaping over the final hurdle, he tripped and fell on the track (video below), giving senior Tyler Ranke the victory in the 3,000 meter steeplechase last Saturday.
"When he went down, I almost went down right over him," Ranke told the Democrat and Chronicle. "He almost got right back up."
McCarthy came in second in his final high school race.
"I feel like I'm living a cliche, actually, to stumble on the final hurdle," McCarthy told the Shreveport Times. "Well, I ran a good 2,990 meters."
It was an especially crushing defeat for McCarthy, who staged a dramatic come-from-behind lead after trailing Ranke by 50 meters.
However, the 36-inch hurdle brought him down 10-20 meters from the finish line. Ranke narrowly avoided the fallen McCarthy to win the race and set a school record at 9:11.24.