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OBU swimmer dies in campus pool

SHAWNEE, Okla. (BP) — Oklahoma Baptist University freshman Iván Maciuniak, a member of OBU’s varsity swimming team, died Friday afternoon, March 9, in the 25-meter pool in the campus Recreation and Wellness Center.

OBU President David Whitlock notified the campus community of Maciuniak’s death through an e-mail message that evening.

“According to those at the pool, Iván was swimming when he went under water,” Whitlock said. “He was pulled from the pool, CPR was administered and paramedics arrived to continue CPR and transport him to Unity Hospital North. He was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after 5:15 p.m.

A medical examiner’s report is expected to provide more information on the cause of death of the 22-year-old from Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain.

“Please be in prayer for Iván’s family, including his brother, Mateo, a current OBU student, and his family members, who are in Argentina,” Whitlock said.

Maciuniak had joined his brother at the university in Shawnee, Okla., in January at the start of the spring semester.

The brothers played a key role in helping OBU win the 2012 NAIA Swimming and Diving Championship March 3 in Oklahoma City in OBU’s first year of intercollegiate swimming. The Maciuniaks were on the four-man 400-meter relay team which won the final event of the meet to claim the national title.

About 200 members of the OBU community gathered for a time of prayer and support at 10 p.m. Friday.

“It was a family gathering,” said Odus Compton, OBU director of student ministry. “We wanted to love and support the swimming family within the university family.”

Compton shared a passage from Psalm 63:1-8, encouraging students to rely on God’s hand to uphold them in a time “when there are a lot more questions than answers.”

Following the gathering, about 300 OBU students met in front of the university’s Raley Chapel for an hour-long prayer walk for the Maciuniak family and Iván’s colleagues on the swimming team.

OBU will hold a memorial service for Maciuniak at 7 p.m. tonight (March 12) in Potter Auditorium of Raley Chapel.
Adapted from a report by Marty O’Gwynn, assistant to the president at Oklahoma Baptist University.

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