As we report on Ivy League sports on the pages of this college admissions blog, it is with sadness that we report of the death of a Dartmouth College swimmer, Tate Ramsden. Brian of our firm was a member of the Dartmouth College swimming and water polo teams and this young man’s death has reverberated around this community — in part due to the manner in which he died. Tate was doing an underwater swim — completing 4 X 25-yard lengths underwater, without coming up for air (not even during turns). It’s something that competitive swimmers have been known to do for many years, but Tate’s death brought to light that this must end. And it must end now.
As reported by “SwimSwam,” “The Dartmouth athletics department and the entire college community mourns the passing on Dec. 26 of Tate Ramsden, a member of the Class of 2017 and the Big Green swimming and diving team. Ramsden passed away while swimming in Sarasota, Florida, while on vacation with his family. ‘We have been in touch with Tate’s family to share our deepest sympathies with them at this time of heartbreaking loss,’ Dartmouth College President Phil Hanlon ’77 stated in a campus-wide email. ‘Our thoughts are with Tate’s family and friends at this time of great sadness.’ Ramsden, a native of Nashville, Tennessee, arrived at Dartmouth after a standout prep career at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville. As the swim team captain during his senior year, he led his squad to the Tennessee State Swimming Championship at which he took fourth in the 100 fly and fifth in the 200 free. He also was a member of the 4×100 relay team that won four consecutive first-place titles at the state championships and garnered four all-state honors during his prep career.”
The Dartmouth community, and the greater swimming community, mourns the death of Tate Ramsden. We suspect that the swim teams throughout the Ivy League will be honoring this Dartmouth swimmer throughout the remainder of the season. And may no coach — not one — ask swimmers to complete underwater swims going forward (although it should be noted that Tate completed this swim on his own, under no coaching supervision at a pool in Florida). There are other ways to train. This one is just too dangerous — the risk far too great.