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Runner critical after stroke at school cross country meet
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A South Hall Middle school student remained in critical condition Friday after suffering a massive stroke during a cross country meet earlier this week.

Alberto Diaz, a 14-year-old eighth-grader, collapsed during the first leg of the course at a meet Monday afternoon at West Hall High School and has been in critical condition since, Hall County Schools spokesman Gordon Higgins said.

Diaz is being treated at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, where his
condition was "extremely critical" Friday, Higgins said.

Higgins said Diaz was leading the race when he fell and was attended to immediately. The incident occurred between 4 and 5 p.m. Monday, when the temperature was in the mid-80s.

All Hall County student-athletes are required to pass a physical before participating in sports, and Diaz had been give a clean bill of health by a physician, Higgins said.

Diaz is considered a talented runner who competed on the cross country team for the past two years and also played soccer on an area team, Higgins said.

The cause of the stroke has not been determined, he said.

Higgins said coaches Linda Grizzle and Shelby Oliver and West Hall High School Principal Paula Stubbs visited the family as recently as Thursday night to convey their concerns.

"They wanted the community to know that his family welcomes all prayers in support of Alberto," Higgins said.

"It’s just a sad, tragic, unfortunate thing," he said. "We’re all hoping for the best."