The Nation

Dec 8, 2010 7:34 PM by Greg Boyce

Ailing athlete crawls across finish line to honor her coach

An amazing story in California, where a 16-year-old collapsed near the finish line of a three-mile cross country race.  She crawled across the finish line to win the state championship, and to honor her coach who is fighting a deadly disease.

Cameras were rolling as Holland Reynolds stumbled just feet from the finish line.  A race official told her he could help her, but if he did she'd be disqualified.  She crawled across the finish line.

She was suffering from dehydration and slight hypothermia from the cold and rain. But her team won its 8th state championship.

She said she did it for her coach.  After 17 years, this could be Jim Tracy's last.  He was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gherig's disease last June.

"I'm hoping to make it through track season, but it's all up in the air," said Tracy.  

"We just really wanted to win for Jim," said Holland.  "Our team had this vision of winning for Jim's possible last cross country season."

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