ALBERTVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A group of students and faculty at Albertville High School (AHS) gathered outside the school on Tuesday morning to pray for their classmate who was hit by a car while running last week.

Daniel Leija, an ‘exceptional’ cross-country and track athlete was struck Friday night while running on the walking trail crossing on Highway 69 at Sunset Drive in Guntersville, according to school officials.

A 17-year-old senior at AHS, Leija has received multiple awards during his athletic career, including Marshall County varsity boys’ cross-country champion.

The school’s Student Government Association (SGA) hosted a ‘Prayer at the Flagpole’ for Leija.

AHS Principal Jordan Phillips says a lot of people are showing their support as Daniel recovers.

“Daniel knows about all the support. He’s aware of everybody rallying behind him. The cross-country community and track community is a small, tight-knit community… We’ve received emails, messages, phone calls — everyone’s really praying for Daniel in his recovery.”

AHS Principal Jordan Phillips

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Leija has undergone multiple surgeries and is on the road to recovery.

In an interview with News 19 on Monday, his cross-country coach says the team is going to finish the rest of the cross-country season and hopes to see Leija back in an Albertville jersey during track season.