Less than 48 hours after a teammate was killed in a car accident, an eastern Iowa track team had their state qualifying meet. What happened at the meet will never be forgotten by anyone that was there.

Last Wednesday morning just after 8, Jace Garner, a 16-year-old junior at Danville High School was involved in a fatal car accident. According to the Hawkeye, Garner was a lifeguard at the Burlington YMCA, on the swim team at Burlington High, on the Danville golf team, and was on the ballot for president of the student body. The election, which was to be held the next day, was postponed until this fall. Garner was also a member of the Danville track team where he ran the anchor leg of the school's 4 x 100-meter relay.

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The night following the accident, Danville competed in the state qualifying track meet at WACO High School. Thursday night, Danville wasn't interested in qualifying for the state meet without their lost teammate and friend. When it came time for the anchor leg of the 4 x 100-meter relay for Danville, there was no replacement to take the baton. Instead, Danville's runner tossed the baton on the track. What followed is one of the most incredible and emotional things you'll ever see.

A silence fell over the meet as one of the guys on the Danville team walked around the track with the baton in his right hand. As he passed them, members of the Danville student body in attendance placed a hand on the baton. All 28 teams at the meet encircled the track and did the same thing... well over 300 student-athletes. It's a very solemn tribute to a friend, teammate, and competitor, and a great reminder from Iowa youth that it isn't always about winning... caring and compassion are much more important.

[via The Hawkeye]