The following article, Teen Collapses and Dies After Crossing Finish Line at Track Meet, was first published on Flag And Cross.
A Texas teenager who died after he collapsed following a cross-country meet two weeks ago is being remembered by those who knew him just days after he was laid to rest.
WFAA-TV in Dallas reported sophomore track star Angel Hernandez of Chisholm Trail High School in Fort Worth had just completed his best 5K time on Oct. 13 when he collapsed after crossing the finish line at the University Interscholastic League District 6A competition in nearby Haltom City.
According to the report, the 16-year-old was able to get to his feet and was assisted to a nearby water station by his friends, but he went to the ground again.
The teen never got up.
Hernandez was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the cause of death, WFAA reported.
The teen was laid to rest on Friday, and his school district’s superintendent posthumously presented him with a varsity letter jacket.
Brent Brevard, Hernandez’s retired track coach, remembered the young man as a model student-athlete.
“He was the kind of student-athlete you wanted,” Brevard told WFAA. “He worked hard and cared about his teammates. But then he also acted right in school and took care of his grades.”
The former coach called the teen’s death “tragic” and said hearing about his sudden passing was “terrible.”
“He’s such a great kid, a likable kid, a good student, and it was awful news,” Brevard concluded.
Sophomore Alejandro Bailey described the moment his friend and teammate went down after crossing the finish.
“As the moment was happening all any of us could think about is that hopefully he could pull through this and that we needed him,” Bailey said. “We were like brothers.”
The teen added, “We just stayed with each other, hugged it out, and told each other it was going to be OK. A lot of stuff was going through my head like ‘What am I going to do without him?’”
Chisholm Trail High School cross country coach Randall Durant said the teen had blossomed from competing at the JV level as a freshman “to one of the best on varsity.”
One of Hernandez’s friends, senior Madison Meers, said he was as passionate about life as he was about sports.
“Angel loved everyone he met, he did not care what had happened in your past, he still loved you. He loved to run and make everyone’s day,” she said. “He died doing what he loved, and we all hope he is safe and happy. We love you, Angel.”
His obituary said, “Born on August 28, 2007, Angel brought joy and laughter to the lives of those fortunate enough to know him. His bright smile and infectious spirit were a source of inspiration to all who had the privilege of being a part of his life.”
A GoFundMe campaign to help Hernandez’s family with his final expenses raised $15,695, more than double its goal of $7,500.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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