Monday, September 26, 2011

Cross-Country Team Embraces Teen

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Megan Douglas is chatting with her daughter Grace's cross-country coach in the coach's classroom when Grace impatiently bursts back into the room.
"Did you run hard?" Douglas asks with a smile as Grace, a gangly 13-year-old with curly brown hair in a disheveled brown ponytail, intently studies her hands and her black-painted fingernails. Grace isn't interested in talking about her running. Practice ended half an hour ago, and after an hour-plus of running hard, she's hungry.
"Yes," she says, her words coming with difficulty but her tone dismissive. "Can I get a snack?"
Grace, a seventh-grader at Hannibal Middle School. is running this year for the school's cross-country team. She's also living with autism.

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