High School Cross Country Runner Tragically Dies During Traditional Celebration

Owen Grubb, a 16-year-old student at Minerva High School in Ohio, tragically passed away shortly after finishing 10th in a cross country race over the weekend. His team won the event, and Grubb, unfortunately, died during a traditional celebration the cross country program participates in.

According to The Repository, a local Ohio paper, the Minerva team had a tradition of throwing a log into a creek located near campus. The Cambridge, Ohio Police Department reported that members of the team went looking for a log, but were unable to find one. They then elected to push a rotting tree into the creek.

Four boys reportedly pushed the tree, but it fell in the direction where Grubb was standing. Witnesses said that he tried to jump out of the path of the falling tree, but it struck him in the head and killed him, the police captain said.

Minerva head coach Olivia Scott said Grubb was among the school’s top five runners.

“He’s a great kid and a great teammate,” Scott explained. “Our girls and boys, our team, they’re brothers and sisters. The girls team is just as devastated as the boys team. Telling them last night is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.”

"They need to support each other," he continued. "That's the way Owen would want it.

"It's going to be hard these next couple of weeks with the end of the season. I know Owen would want his teammates to still run and run for him. I know they will do that."

In memory of Grubb, the county's cross country coaches are naming him their only runner of the week.

No charges are expected as the incident is considered an accident.

An obituary for Grubb explains he passed away at Akron Children's Hospital. He is survived by his parents, two sisters, and two brothers.

Written by

Mark covers all sports at OutKick while keeping a close eye on the PGA Tour, LIV Golf, and all other happenings in the world of golf. He graduated from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before earning his master's degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee. He somehow survived living in Knoxville despite ‘Rocky Top’ being his least favorite song ever written. Before joining OutKick, he wrote for various outlets including SB Nation, The Spun, and BroBible. Mark was also a writer for the Chicago Cubs Double-A affiliate in 2016 when the team won the World Series. He's still waiting for his championship ring to arrive. Follow him on Twitter @itismarkharris.