Finishing Strong: A Saint Vincent College Coach Lends a Helping Hand

Finishing STRONG

PHOTO: Jordan Whiteko

Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, women’s cross country coach Kevin Wanichko made national news at this year’s Boston Marathon. He was not the lead story for winning the famous event. In fact, he was thankful just to finish after an unexpected cramp took hold of his leg during mile 3 of the 26-mile race.

It was the way he finished that grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. Wanichko pushed through to the final mile and was in sight of the finish line when he watched a fellow runner stumble and fall.

By Brady Duricko, INTERN

PHOTO COURTESY: Kevin Wanichko

“I know how much time I put into training for the race, as everyone did. So I figured that if I could just help someone get to the finish line, that would be good,” Wanichko said.

He and another runner, Allan Villanueva, carried Boston native Chris Fernandez to the finish line. The three men crossed together before Fernandez was handed over to medics.

“He was unconscious and had a dangerously high temperature after the race. He spent the rest of the day in the hospital,” Wanichko said.

Photos of the inspiring, strong finish went viral — not something Wanichko ever expected.


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