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Joplin Eagles forever changed

A town recovers, but how do you restore a teenager's youth?

Updated: October 16, 2011, 10:36 AM ET
By Elizabeth Merrill | ESPN.com

JOPLIN, Mo. -- On May 20, the biggest thing in Mariah Sanders' life was soaring through the air on a pole. She'd trained for this, for four years, since a track coach spotted her playing football with the boys and sensed that she was fearless enough to try the pole vault. Sanders was somewhat of an All-American girl -- straight A's, prom-queen looks, a star of the Joplin High School softball team. She was stubborn. Nothing was more important, on that day, than qualifying for state.

On ...

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