A Texas teenager tragically collapsed and died at a cross-country meet moments after breaking his personal time record, according to local reports.
Angel Hernandez, a 16-year-old sophomore at Chisholm Trail High School, had just completed a 5K at a district track meet in Haltom City in Tarrant County on Oct. 13 when he collapsed right after crossing the finish line, witnesses told KHOU.
The teen’s concerned friends walked him over to a water fountain where he fell again. He was rushed to a local hospital where he died an hour later.
Brent Brevard, who coached Hernandez at Chisholm Trail High School last year before retiring, said he was the ideal student-athlete.
“He worked hard and cared about his teammates,” he told the outlet.
“But then he also acted right in school and took care of his grades.”
“He’s such a great kid, a likable kid, a good student, and it was awful news,” Brevard added.
Friends and family still do not know what caused the teen to collapse after running one of his best races.
Hernandez’s funeral was held on Friday, where his family was presented with a varsity letter jacket, KHOU reported. Later that night at the high school’s homecoming football game, a moment of silence was held in his memory.
The teen also had a passion for martial arts, according to his obituary, and competed in competitions across the country.
His karate coach, Ashley Wood, said that she has been comforting his devastated teammates since his death. She said he showed no signs of illness before his collapse.
“He made you love him with his personality,” she told KHOU. “He had an infectious smile. The moment of silence, it helps us know that he was loved by everyone.”
Wood launched a GoFundMe campaign to help Hernandez’s family cover funeral costs.
“It’s really hard. We’ll never get over it. We’ll never forget him. He’s going to be missed here, but he’s going to be loved always,” she said.
Hernandez is survived by his parents, Antonio and Elsie Hernandez, and his younger brother, Mark Hernandez.