Teen Athlete Collapsed After Mask Caused A ‘Complete Oxygen Debt’, Here’s What Officials Have Done

According to her coach at Summit High School in Oregon, teen track star Maggies Williams collapsed just as she was about to break a school record. The coach, Dave Turnbull, said the mask sufficated the teen causing her to loose consciousness. Thankfully she has recovered and is doing fine. She also still managed to break the school record though she crossed the finish line in a tumble.

“I felt like I just wasn’t being able to get a full breath,” track and field runner Williams recalled to KTVZ-TV. “Multiple times of that happening, not being able to get enough air. I just felt super-dizzy, and then eventually passed out.”

“In the past, this has never happened,” Williams added to KTVZ. “Then this race that I was wearing a mask, it did happen, which I don’t think is a coincidence.”

Turnbull said Williams, with her mask on, suffered “complete oxygen debt,” the Oregonian reported, adding that she was unresponsive after her fall. He added that when she did recover the teen was in a state of confusion.

“I’ve been doing this for 31 years, I’ve never seen anybody basically lose consciousness,” Turnbull told the paper. “I’ve never seen that in the way it happened with Maggie.”

He added to the Oregonian that Williams “wasn’t sure where she was.”

Williams’ momentum carried her across the finish line in 2:08:45  a new school record by two seconds, KTVZ said. The teen had no idea about her victory. “I found out a couple of minutes after my race, when I had recovered from my fall,” she recalled to the station. “So super exciting for me.”

“She just ran a 2:11 in Arizona without a mask on,” Turnbull told the station in regard to Williams. “Three seconds faster from my experience isn’t going to cause a kid to hit the track. When you’re in a mask, it certainly does.”

After the meet, he added to the Bend Bulletin: “I am concerned with the mask rule. This is what I am worried about, and I said this at the beginning of the season. You get a kid running the 800 with a mask on, it is actually dangerous. They don’t get the oxygen that they need. This rule needs to change.”

Her coach appealed to OHA to amend the outside restrictions:

According to a statement released, the OHA thankfully updated their mask mandate to exclude outdoor sports when distancing is possible.

“We are revising the current guidance on the use of masks outdoors during competition,” The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) said in a statement. “The guidance will allow people to take off face coverings when competing in non-contact sports outdoors and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others and the other virus protective protocols.”


It’s great that OHA amended their guidelines but a shame that it took a scare like this for them to use a little common sense. That’s just my opinion, though. What about you? Do you think masks should be mandatory during childrens’ outdoor sporting events when social distancing is possible?

Let me know in the comments below.

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