Cross country runner dies after collapsing at Charlotte meet

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A high school cross country runner died Sunday morning, hours after she collapsed at a meet in Charlotte, Moore County School officials said.

Officials said Samantha Davis died around 12:30 a.m. at Novant Presbyterian Medical Center.

Davis, a senior from Union Pines High School, was competing in the Hare & Hounds Invitational Saturday morning at McAlpine Park in Charlotte.

Officials said she suffered a seizure and went into cardiac arrest.

Davis was also a popular member of the high school band from Cameron, about two hours east of Charlotte.

“She never put herself before anyone. She always had a smile on her face,” friend Victoria Campbell told Channel 9. “If something was bothering you and she knew about it, she was right there to give you a hug and give you all of her support and cheer you up. She was smart and beautiful, inside and out.”

Campbell said a softball injury led to an epilepsy diagnosis for Davis and that her parents said she became a tissue donor after she was removed from life support Sunday morning.

Medical services at school sporting events

Since Davis' death, some parents spoke to Channel 9 about some concerns regarding the medical staffing at these events.

Even though there were Novant Health and school trainers on-site, her parents said it took too long for an ambulance to come, and even longer until she got in one.

They said the spot where she collapsed was out of view from many people and not close to the medical tent.

"This incident, it just saddens you," said Que Tucker the commissioner of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

Channel 9 asked what medical requirements these events have to meet. The host school, Metrolina Christian Academy, isn't an NCHSAA member so it isn't under the association's regulation.

The commissioner talked about what the state requires for all public schools, some of whom participated in the event last weekend.

"A licensed athletic trainer or first responder must attend all football practices and games," the state statute reads.

Schools are encouraged to have first responders at all events, but they're only required for football.

The policy was made by the State Board of Education.

The NCHSAA is granted its authority and power to govern and lead interscholastic high school athletics by the State Board of Education, according to a representative from the NCHSAA.

So, any rule or statue the board implements is one the association must follow.

Que Tucker also spoke about a Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, which is a group of doctors and licensed athletic trainers who provide suggestions and recommendations for the NCHSAA staff and the board of directors on matters of health and safety.

"In my initial conversations, you know, with several of the athletic administrators, we feel reasonably comfortable that they had adequate medical staff on-site," Que Tucker said.

She said something like this does make them think about what’s required.

"You do start to think about, ‘OK, do we have enough policy? Do we have all of the procedures in place?" Que Tucker said.

Channel 9 contacted the host school, the director of the meet and the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association, of which the host school is a member.
The calls have not yet been returned.

Channel 9 reached out to the host school, meet director and North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association, which the host school is a part of.  Calls have not yet been returned.

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