CAMBRIDGE, Ohio (WCMH) – A cross country runner from Minerva High School was struck by a tree and died of related injuries Saturday in a postrace accident at a Division II district meet at Cambridge High School.
Owen Grubb, a junior, was with teammates during a cooldown period in the woods near a footbridge over Wills Creek at around 1 p.m. According to Cambridge police, Grubb and several other runners were continuing a tradition where the athletes would find a tree and throw it into the creek after a meet. As they were attempting to push over a tree that was dead and leaning, it snapped and fell on Grubb.
The Cambridge Fire Department took Grubb to the emergency room at Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center, after which he was sent to Akron Children’s Hospital by Medflight, police said. Despite multiple attempts to resuscitate him, Grubb was pronounced dead as a result of his injuries.
“This is a terrible time for his family, friends and loved ones, and we extend our deepest condolences to all who cared for him,” Minerva Local Schools Superintendent Gary Chaddock said. “We are all grieving the loss of Owen, who was a bright light in our high school and exceptional student-athlete. We are keeping our entire school community close in our hearts during this time.”
Chaddock added that counselors will be present to meet with teammates and all district students to provide mental health support. Minerva High School is in Stark County, about 20 miles east of Canton.
“We will work collaboratively with his family, friends, coaches and our cross-country team to plan ways to honor his memory. We are grateful for the swift actions of first responders and to the entire Ohio cross-country community for their continuing prayers for all of those who loved and will miss Owen.”
Grubb finished in 10th place overall with a time of 17:26.05. He was one of four runners from Minerva to place in the top 10 in helping the Lions win the event and advance to the regional tournament. Last season, Grubb competed in the state tournament, where the Lions placed 16th in Division II.