Sami Stoner is running proof that adversity doesn’t have to keep you from the finish line.
A legally blind 16-year-old runner, Sami is traversing cross-country courses this season with her new guide dog, Chloe, and is believed to be the first high school athlete in her home state of Ohio to compete with an animal.
“I don’t run for time or place or anything, I just run because I love it, and I’m glad I can share my love of running with Chloe now,” says Sami, a junior at Lexington High School who’s on the junior varsity cross country team. “I love having Chloe. She’s helped me so much.”
Now in her fourth year running cross country, Sami won a waiver from the state high school athletic association that allows her to compete with a dog. The golden retriever puppy, who guides Sami through the crowded hallways at school, also takes her safely through the running trails of Ohio.