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UC San Diego athlete dies after training accident

September 6, 2009 |  1:14 pm

A pole vaulter at UC San Diego has died from an apparent head injury sustained during a training accident.

Leon Roach, 19, a sophomore from Huntington Beach, died Saturday night at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla. He had been brought to the hospital in critical condition Thursday.

Roach had missed the padding after making a jump and landed on concrete, striking his head, according to the San Diego County medical examiner's office. He was immediately unresponsive. On Saturday, medical personnel at Scripps declared him brain-dead.

In March, Roach placed fourth in the San Diego Collegiate Track and Field Championship, the only freshman in the top eight. At Marina High School in Huntington Beach, Roach once vaulted 15 feet 4 inches.

An autopsy is planned.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

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