Cross Country Team Helps Girl Finish Race

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GATES MILLS, Ohio -- If you know the Kane family, you know they love to run.  On Sunday, Shea and Shelby Kane ran their first cross country meet ever for the Holy Trinity Cross Country team. It was a typical race that did not have a typical ending.   

It started Sunday afternoon at Hawken, the Holy Trinity Cross Country Team competed in their first event of the new season.

"I was a little concerned because it was so hot that day," said Michael Kane.

Shea and Shelby Kane were running in their first-ever cross country meet. 

"I was very worried, the thoughts running through my head were how was she going to navigate this course?," said Shea and Shelby's mother, Robin.

Shea is a 6th grader, Shelby is a fourth-grader. 

"I knew she would give it her best shot," Robin said.

Shelby is 10 years old but is missing half of her 17th chromosome which has given her problems with health and development.

So on Sunday, Olivia Battistoni, the coach's daughter, decided she would run with Shelby to help her navigate the course.

"It was really fun, we had a good time, I was very excited," Olivia said.

"Good," added Shelby.

Sunday's race was a 1.5 mile trek.  Distance running is something Shelby looks forward to.

"Running far," said Shelby.

With a mile left in the race, Shelby's teammates who already finished the race took it upon themselves to do the unthinkable.

"It was some what of a rocky moment," said Robin. "They just kind of joined one and then there was two and then there was three and then before you know it there was 18 of them following her."

"I turned around and looked on the hillside," said cross country coach Randy Battistoni. "There was 20 kids with Shelby all running what would be their second race in 90 degree heat."

Shelby's teammates had joined her in the final mile to help her finish the race.

"I'm not an emotional guy, but I have to tell you I was close to tears," said Randy.  "It was a very touching moment."

A touching moment even for Shelby who was met with congratulatory comments.

"Good job," she said.

It was the perfect finish to the perfect race.

"It is what youth sports should be," added Michael.

Shelby and her teammates will have their next meet on Sunday, September 9th at Walsh Jesuit and you better believe Shelby and her family are looking forward to it.