Iowa prep wrestler dies after collapsing during tournament

December 21, 2015 / Sports MedicineWrestling
An Iowa high school wrestler died over the weekend after collapsing during a tournament, though officials have yet to determine exactly how it happened.

Iowa high school wrestler Austin Roberts died after collapsing during a weekend tournament.
Iowa high school wrestler Austin Roberts died after collapsing during a weekend tournament.

Spencer High School wrestler Austin Roberts, a state medalist last year, collapsed during the final minute of the championship match in Saturday’s tournament. There was a stoppage in action after both players went out of bounds, and Roberts seemed to have trouble catching his breath. Medical officials attended to Roberts and he later died at the hospital.

From The Des Moines Register:

“There was about 30 seconds left and the score was tied and they went out of bounds,” Sioux Center coach Aaron Schmidt said. “We came back to the center to get reset and we got set and the Roberts boy asked for injury time and couldn’t seem to quite catch his breath.

“Then injury time was up and there was a good, classy exchange at the end of the match and we were hoping he was all right. At that point, he seemed to just be unable to catch his breath.”

Schmidt said it was a clean and competitive bout between two talented seniors, both of whom won matches at the state tournament in February. The Sioux Center coach said nothing occurred during the match that would have set off alarms about Roberts’ physical well-being.

“Not a single thing,” Schmidt said. “No slam, no hit heads, nothing. It was about as clean and classy as can be. It was one of those matches people would’ve continued to watch at the state tournament if it had been down there.”

Roberts was the state’s sixth-ranked wrestler at 220 pounds in Class 3A. The author of the article notes that he can’t recall the last time there was a wrestling-related death in Iowa.

Friends of Roberts’ family have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help offset medical and funeral costs.

Click here to read the complete story.

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