Teammates, coach remember student after sudden death at cross country meet

Teammates, coach remember student after sudden death at cross country meet

After collapsing as he crossed the finish line in first place in the three-mile race at the district cross country meet in Haltom City, sophomore Angel Hernandez died on Friday, Oct.13.

As he crossed the finish line, Hernandez stumbled before he collapsed. Coaches and teammates rushed to his side to get him to medical officials. While medics treated Hernandez, his teammates tried to comfort one another.

“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,” sophomore cross country teammate Alejandro Bailey said. “I was trying to focus on just trying to stay strong for him.”

Throughout his two years on the team, Bailey said Hernandez was incredibly determined and positive, and “he was like family to the team.”

“We were like brothers,” Bailey said. “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?”

While the team waited for more information on Hernandez’s condition, the rest of the team finished their races without knowing what happened. Once the team finished, they went back to campus.

During sixth period on Friday, principal Winston McCowan made an announcement for teachers to read a statement that informed students that Hernandez had died.

From football and karate his freshman year, cross country coach Randall Durant said Hernandez’s athletic skills were evident, and he went from JV cross country last year “to one of the best on varsity.”

While sports was a big focus for Hernandez, Durant said his real focus was on family and friends.

“Every conversation you had with Angel, he was kind of like an old soul a little bit which means he was mature,” Durant said. “He was always interested in what you were doing and what you had to say, and not always just about himself. He was very in tune with other people.”

Close friend, senior Madison Meers, said she looks forward to honoring her friend who “always put a smile on my face even when I was down and always knew how to brighten someone’s day.”

“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,” Meers said. “He died doing what he loved, and we all hope he is safe and happy. We love you, Angel.”

The viewing for Hernandez will be Thursday, Oct. 19, from 6–9 p.m., and the funeral will be Friday, Oct. 20, at 11 a.m. at Heritage Funeral Homes Davis-Morris Chapel in Brownwood, Texas.

The Rangers advanced to regionals with the boys placing third at the meet and the girls placing fourth overall and will compete at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

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  • J

    June NelsonOct 23, 2023 at 1:30 pm

    So sorry to hear of your loss. May God give you all strength to help during this trying time.

    Reply
    • A

      Adeline MeersOct 25, 2023 at 1:54 pm

      thank you so much

      Reply
  • E

    Elizabeth UgaldeOct 21, 2023 at 8:28 pm

    I don’t know you , I just stumbled across your article and with great heaviness of the heart I would like to send prayers to your Family to be given the unimaginable strength to endure the pain of your loss . And to you I say Rest in Peace sweet Angel , you are far too young to have been taken from your Earthly body , but may your soul live on strong with Eternal life . 🙏🏻

    Reply
  • E

    Elizabeth UgaldeOct 21, 2023 at 8:28 pm

    I don’t know you , I just stumbled across your article and with great heaviness of the heart I would like to send prayers to your Family to be given the unimaginable strength to endure the pain of your loss . And to you I say Rest in Peace sweet Angel , you are far too young to have been taken from your Earthly body , but may your soul live on strong with Eternal life . 🙏🏻

    Reply