Aaron Brannen lost his mother to pneumonia. Still, he persevered, practiced and became the Texas State Champion cross country runner.
Photos by Mark M. Hancock / © The Beaumont Enterprise
(Above) Aaron Brannen practices with the 3A cross country team at Bridge City High School in Bridge City.
(Right) Aaron Brannen stretches before practice with the Cardinals cross country team at Bridge City High School.
Aaron Brannen and Sean Aucoin listen to "Breakdown" by Jack Johnson together during lunch at Bridge City High School.
Aaron Brannen (left) waits for instructions from Dedra Morris (right) in the assistant principals office during his period as an office messenger at Bridge City High School.
Aaron Brannen checks information on a board during an English lecture at Bridge City High School.
Aaron Brannen practices guitar while waiting on instant messages from his friends in his room at his father's home in Port Arthur.
(Above) Aaron Brannen (right) listens as Ricky Brennan, his father, (left) reads cross country predictions from a Web site at his father's home in Port Arthur.
(Left) Bridge City High School's Aaron Brannen keeps the lead during the regional cross country track meet in Humble. He won the meet and advanced to the state championships, which he also won.
Award Winner:   2nd place, Web site, Best Sports Picture Story (Unaffiliated Sites), National Press Photographers Association 2006 Best of Photojournalism competition.