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Chloe and Claire Gruenke, both 13 years old, are close. The West-Clin Middle School twins spent the weekend competing at the Southern Illinois State track meet. They were both running the 800 when all of a sudden Chloe was having trouble.

“I felt something pull and pop in my thigh and then around the second lap it hurt and I couldn’t go anymore and I fell to the ground,” Chloe said.

Then something really cool happened. Claire put her sister on her back and they finished the race together. Claire carried Chloe for 370 of the 400 meters left in the race. She says what she did for her twin means more than just winning.

“It’s about showing compassion, love and sportsmanship, even if you lose and help somebody it`s still worth it. The energy from the crowd made me stronger. They were saying I can`t believe you just did that,” Claire explained

Claire Gruenke carries her injured twin sister Chloe across the finish line at a track meet. Photo credit: KTVI

The twins’ parents Doug and Georgia Gruenke say they say we can all learn from what happened.

“It was pretty neat everyone in the crowd was standing up giving a standing ovation,” Doug said.

“I just wanted both of them to make it through,” Georgia said.

Coaches Ted Crail and Coree Woltering are also proud of the twins and their team spirit.

“We just watched breathlessly and luckily had glasses on because we all had tears in our eyes,” Crail said.

“I have to admit it was pretty emotional,” Woltering said.

Chloe and Claire may have come in last in the 800 meter race, but the duo clearly won the hearts of everyone who watched a special moment play out between two loving sisters on the field.

“Never leave them behind as long as you help them your heart just warms up,”w, Claire said.

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For more on this story, check out our sister station KTVI’s coverage here.