A Tragic Sports Memory

This evening while watching Monday Night Football, I had a tragic sports memory come back to me.  The tragic injury of the player this evening which caused the postponement of the game triggered a memory from when I was in High School.

Kansas state track, 3200 meter relay, 2 mile relay, track and fieldWhen I was a senior in High School we were competing in a Track and Field meet in Mullinville, Kansas. I had competed in the open half and the two-mile relay and was preparing for the open two mile when the meet was suspended.

While watching the football game tonight memories of this meet came back to me.

Letter Jacket - Block A - Ashland - Track and Field - Cross Country - BandI remember seeing an ambulance pull up to the field, as competition was halted. We did  not immediately know what had happened. We just knew that something bad was happening. After some time an announcement was made that the rest of the meet was cancelled and the coaches had us all go back to the bus. All that we knew at that time was that an athlete had been taken to the hospital in an ambulance. It was a somber ride home that evening, especially as we did not know the details as to what had happened.

The next day we learned that the athlete had passed away. He had laid down after running a race and had then vomited and aspirated some of it into his lungs. This was noticed by another runner who heard weird noises. They called for an ambulance and he was taken to the hospital where they tried for an hour to revive him.

I do not often think about this tragedy, but sometimes this memory is triggered by something else. Usually if is a reference to the town he was from and there are enough positive memories to cover up the tragic memories. However, tonight it was triggered by another tragic event so the memories have not been good.

I pray that the athlete who was injured tonight will recover.




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