Dog runs on track during high school meet, beats runner to finish line

The scene unfolded at the Grizzly Invitational in Logan.

Screenshot of a video that shows a dog running after Logan High senior Gracie Laney during the Grizzly Invitational in Logan, Utah, on April 17, 2021.

Logan High senior runner Gracie Laney had the final stretch of track all to herself. It was the second heat of the girls’ 4x200 relay event in last weekend’s Grizzly Invitational, and Laney, the anchor, was enjoying a healthy lead.

Until she felt the pitter-patter of little paws.

“I’d say probably about the 50-meters [mark], I could feel something coming on me, and I thought it was a person. I thought it was the runner,” Laney said. “And then I kind of realized that it was really small.”

That really small thing coming up behind her was a dog — Holly, per the Sacramento Bee — that had broken away from its owners and bolted after Laney. Video from the meet shows Holly start from a grassy knoll and sprint past two other runners on her way to Laney.

Holly not only ended up catching up to Laney, but beating her across the finish line. On Instagram, Laney joked that she couldn’t believe a dog beat her.

“After watching the video, I thought, ‘Holy cow, that dog is so fast,’” Laney said. “So I thought it was kind of funny [that] I got beat by a dog.”

Laney said that after she noticed the dog running next to her, she tried to focus on finishing the race. But she was also hoping the dog wouldn’t attack her and also that she wouldn’t step on it with her spiked track shoes. She only stepped on the dog’s leash, she said.

As the scene unfolded, the crowd started cheering. Laney thought the cheers were because of the event’s importance but did notice they sounded different than normal cheers. Once she saw the video, Laney was amused at the fact the fans were cheering for the dog.

Laney said she never found out to whom the dog belonged. But she hopes she’ll somehow get a chance to meet the dog.

“Looking back, I really wish I had gotten a selfie or something with it,” Laney said.