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Faith guiding Smoky Hill's Noble Haskell on road to recovery after horrific accident

Haskell, a junior at Smoky Hill, is collecting t-shirts from his running peers that he hopes to form into a quilt.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Not everyone is granted a predestined title at birth. 

"He has grown into his name so much, even more so now. It's kind of like that grit: are you born with grit or does it come with trials and tribulations?" said Krisi Hantke. 

Krisi's son, Noble Haskell, was used to the trials of a 5K Cross Country course, but nothing prepared him or his mother for the moment that would cause him to live up to his brave, self-sacrificing and virtuous name. 

"Middle of the night -- it's a call that no parent ever wants to get. It was tough getting up in the middle of the night and having someone tell you that there's been a wreck and your son potentially has a broken neck," Krisi said. 

Noble was driving home from a "boy's trip," to Branson, Missouri in late June with some of his cross country friends, when his car was struck in Russell, Kansas. Noble was flown to a hospital in Wichita, Kansas 

"Next thing I knew, I was in the ER. I didn't really know what was happening, but I was thinking to myself, 'God is good. I'm alive,'" Noble said. 

Alive, but barely hanging on during his first weeks in the ICU.

"There were a lot of really tough times where he was fighting for his life and his lung was collapsing, he had pneumonia, we were supposed to come here and he had a temperature of 106.7," Krisi said. "But we all kind of had something in us that said, it's going to be alright, he's going to walk again, he's going to run again. That's what's carried us through."

Four months later, Noble is testing a new course: His first day on an adaptive bike and a big milestone in his road to mobility during his stay at Craig Hospital.

"You're not surprised because you know how hard he works and he has that same mentality and that same drive as he put forth to his running. It's really exciting to be on the sidelines this close, having a front row seat watching him and supporting him," Krisi said. 

Also supporting Noble are all of his running peers, sending cards, signs and most importantly team t-shirts that he hopes to form into a quilt. 

"To have his rivals, to have his teammates, to have people he's running with and against rooting for him in a whole different way, has been unbelievable," Krisi said. 

Noble entered his junior season ranked 40th in the state and was aiming to win his regional site. Instead, he's cheering his friends on from his room at Craig. At the moment, he has shirts and banners from all Cherry Creek schools, as well as cards from his Smoky Hill teammates.

"To know that all of those other teams are still there, rooting me on and cheering for me from the sidelines, even though I'm not still on the course, and I'm not still running, they're still on my side cheering me on," Noble said. 

While Noble is unable to run the path set out in Colorado Springs this upcoming weekend, he continuously states that there is a different path he's meant to follow -- and lead others down.

"There's been a path set in front of me. I'm going to walk it and I'm going to help other people know that it's going to be alright -- just keep fighting You've got to have faith, keep praying, keep believing and it's just going to get better. It's just going to keep getting better," he said. "Everyone serves a bigger purpose than where they are currently."

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