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The Gaucho Gazette

Running with Autism (Literally)

Emma Pearce and Axel Perales

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Mike Brannigan, a graduate from Northport High School in New York, is an avid competitive runner. His mile time is an impressive four minutes seven seconds. Due to his great achievements, many distinguished colleges have shown interest in Brannigan, such as Stanford, Oregon University, Wisconsin, Duke, and the University of Virginia. But that’s not the only impressive detail about Brannigan: he is also autistic.

   Brannigan’s burden is hyperactivity throughout the day, which causes him to have trouble focusing his energy in a positive direction. But ever since he was introduced to track and field as a senior, he has soared ever higher. In an NBC News interview, Edie Brannigan, Mike’s mom, showed her pride towards her son, saying that not only has running has helped him focus on his academics, but it also has calmed his hyperactivity. Not only family is proud of Brannigan, though; junior Grace Petraglia suppports Brannigan as well.

   “A four minute mile is an impressive feat that not many people can say they have achieved. Having Brannigan run at that speed proves that special need athletes are not limited by their disability. He is truly inspiring, and I hope to see more stories like his in the future,” said Petraglia.

   This September, Brannigan will step onto the international stage as he will make his competitive debut in the 2016 Rio Paralympics. He has shown his impressive talent already at the 2015 IPC Track and Field World Championships in Doha, Qatar, where he won the 1,500 meter T20 classification and a silver medal in the 5,000 meter relay (Team USA News). In the same year, he also won a national championship in the 1,500 meter relay and a victory in the same event at the Parapan American Games. Mike Brannigan is truly a future star.

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Running with Autism (Literally)