Riverhead High School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet Anthony Mammina will be awarded for helping someone in need in a lifesaving act of compassion.
Mammina will receive the Meritorious Achievement award, the highest honor a cadet can receive, in a ceremony at the Riverhead High School gymnasium on Jan. 18 at 9 a.m.
On Sept. 29, Mammina, who was participating in a Suffolk County Coaches Invitational, a cross country race at Sunken Meadown State Park, was running a 5K race when he came upon a competitor who was having an asthma attack and had collapsed on the course and was unconscious.
According to a citation that will be awarded to Mammina, the cadet immediately administered first aid.
"Although other competitors continued to run past the fallen runner, Anthony's first instinct was to stop and help," wrote J.W. Hankins, commander, U.S. Navy, NJROTC area manager, area four. "Cadet Mammina shook the fallen runner's shoulder, but he was initially unresponsive. He then lifted the young man's arms up above his shoulders and administered an emergency inhaler, which the boy had in his mouth. After the inhaler was administered and the runner regained consciouslness, Anthony and another runner who had stopped to help carried the young man for approximately half a mile to a first aid station."
Mammina then went on to finish the race.
"Cadet Mammina's quick thinking, positive action and heroic behavior helped to save another athlete's life," Hankins wrote. "His willingness to get involved, apply his first aid knowledge, and his compassion for a fallen competitor are a testament to his strong sense of honor, sportsmanship and determination to do the right thing."
Riverhead High School Boys' Cross Country Coach Pat Burke said, after the race, that the young man who needed medical attention was suffering from asthma and Mammina immediately came to his aid.
"I came around the corner to find the runner unconscious on the course. I made sure the area was clear and shook the young man's shoulder and asked if he was alright," Mammina said.
Sanford H. Calhoun High School Coach David Heller wrote, in a letter to RCSD Athletic Director Bill Groth, "I could only imagine how many athletes must have run by him; however, one athlete by the name of Anthony from Riverhead High School did stop, not worried about his race -- understanding the more important thing was getting this athlete help. For a high school student, his first aid knowledge was truly amazing, and I think his act of compassion as well as his sportsmanship should not go unnoticed."
Burke said of Mammarino, who is a Boy Scout and knows CPR, "I am so proud of what Anthony did and grateful that he applied his knowledge in dealing with a situation like this. His priority to help, and his ability to remain calm and appropriately administer assistance is to be commended. He represented himself, his family and the Riverhead Community in a very positive way."