Virginia Tech wrestler dies in drowning accident

Virginia Tech wrestler Darren Hankins drowned Wednesdayin Montgomery County, Virginia, the university announced. Hewas 21.

Virginia Tech wrestler Darren Hankins died Wednesday night in a drowning accident, the university has announced. He was 21.

A group of people were swimming in an area formerly used as a quarry in Blacksburg, Virginia, when Hankins began having difficulty staying afloat, and bystanders were unable to help him stay above water, according to The Roanoke Times. His body was recovered by rescue crews who responded to the scene.

Virginia Tech wrestling coach Kevin Dresser said Hankins "was very special to our wrestling program and our entire athletic department."

"As a father and as his coach, this is something that we would hope no family would have to go through," Dresser said. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the Hankins family at this time. Darren was a wonderful young man. Virginia Tech Wrestling was a better place because of Darren Hankins."

Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock offered support to the family and the Hokie wrestling team.

"The Virginia Tech Athletics family suffered a great tragedy this evening," Babcock said. "Darren was a wonderful representative of the wrestling team and of this university. Our hearts go out to his family, our Virginia Tech family, and his countless friends during this difficult time."

Hankins, a junior philosophy major, competed on the varsity squad for two seasons, but sat out the 2013-14 season due to injury.

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