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Dartmouth swimmer drowns after trying to swim 4 laps without surfacing for air

NASHVILLE —  A Nashville native and member of the Dartmouth College swim team drowned in a pool in Sarasota, FL, the day after Christmas.

Tate Ramsden, 21, was among the elite swimmers in the country.

According to witnesses and family members, Ramsden was attempting to swim underwater for 100 yards with a kicking maneuver without surfacing for air.

“Just a great kid,” said John Morse, who coached Ramsden at the Nashville Aquatic Club for years. “Grew up in our program.”

Ramsden’s family are longtime members of the Nashville Aquatic Club.

Morse said he would never recommend anyone try the maneuver Ramsden was attempting, no matter how accomplished a swimmer they are.

“If the story is true that he was trying to swim 100 yards underwater, that’s not smart,” Morse said. “That’s not something that anyone would recommend for people to try.”

Morse said Ramsden was recently in Nashville to reconnect with friends. He said he remembers Ramsden as a good kid, a great swimmer and a good student.

Ramsden was attending Dartmouth on a scholarship.

“It’s just sad,” Morse said. “Very emotional. We had a practice this morning with 60 to 70 kids and it was difficult. Lots of tears, lots of emotions.”

Morse said he remembers his first encounter with Ramsden in the pool.

“Started out as a young kid, not a very accomplished swimmer,” he said. “Over the course of his career, he became very good. Became the captain of his high school team.”

The president of Dartmouth released a statement on Ramsden’s death, saying in part:

“It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the death of Tate Ramsden. We have been in touch with Tate’s family to share our deepest sympathies with them at this time of heartbreaking loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tate’s family and friends in this time of great sadness.”

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