Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Alabama Swimmer Dies In Monday Storms

((HT: ABC3340/Birmingham))

The University of Alabama confirmed that one of the fatalities in the storms that ravaged the southeastern United States yesterday was a member of the swim team.

Junior John Servati was in a friend's basement when a retention wall gave way. He was a Dean's Lister and was on the SEC Academic Honor Roll. Servati, from Tupelo, Mississippi, set state records in high school in the 200M freestyle and 100M backstroke.

Here's the story from overnight...
ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Alabama's head swim coach, Dennis Pursley, released a statement through the swim team's Twitter:

"During this incredibly difficult time, our thoughts & prayers go out to the Servati family & to all who knew John. John Servati was an extraordinary young man of great character and warmth who had a tremendously giving spirit. John will forever be in our hearts and a part of the Crimson Tide legacy."

UA's Director of Athletics, Bill Battle and the swim team captain, Phillip Deaton, made statements in a press release from the university's Athletics Department.

"We are all saddened to learn of the untimely death of John Servati," UA Director of Athletics Bill Battle said. "He was a model student-athlete who excelled in his sport of swimming, his pursuit of excellence in academics, and his value as a son, brother, friend and teammate to all who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to John's family and friends as we grieve his passing."

"John definitely had a genuine heart," Alabama team captain Phillip Deaton said. "He was a carefree guy who always had this huge smile on his face. He was my training partner for three years and I can tell you that while he liked to goof around and have fun, when he stepped up on the block he was intensely focused - he was a competitor and an amazing teammate. As a team, we are doing the best we can right now."

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