Tradition Turns Tragic as Cross-Country Runner Dies at Meet | Athletic Business

Tradition Turns Tragic as Cross-Country Runner Dies at Meet

James Lee Qvszy Sf Byg Unsplash

An Ohio high school cross-country runner died this past weekend in a tragic accident at meet in Cambridge. 

Minerva High School junior Owen Grubb has just finished competing in the OHSAA Boys Division II district finals Saturday afternoon when his teammates decided to celebrate with one of their traditions — throwing a tree or log off a bridge into the water. 

According to the local NBC affiliate, Owen and three others found a dead tree and attempted to bring it down, but the tree snapped and fell, striking Owen as he attempted to run away. 

Teammates and paramedics were able stabilize him at the scene, but Grubb died later from his injuries at Akron Children's Hospital. 


Minerva Superintendent Gary Chaddock released the following statement on Owen's passing:

"Last weekend, Minerva High School Junior Owen Grubb died from injuries he received in a post-race accident following a weekend cross-country meet.

"This is a terrible time for his family, friends and loved ones, and we extend our deepest condolences to all who cared for him.

"We are all grieving the loss of Owen, who was a bright light in our high school and exceptional student athlete. We are keeping our entire school community close in our hearts during this time.

"Counselors have been brought to meet with his teammates and all district students and provide mental health support. We will work collaboratively with his family, friends, coaches and our cross-country team to plan ways to honor his memory.

"We are grateful for the swift actions of first responders and to the entire Ohio cross-country community for their continuing prayers for all of those who loved and will miss Owen.

"We recognize Owen’s family's need for privacy and respect at this time of mourning, and as such, we will not be sharing any further details of this tragic accident."

High school and college cross-country programs from around the community paid tribute to Grubb on social media. 


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