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Florida high school wrestler killed while on morning run

A Florida high school wrestler scheduled to become a lead petty officer in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps in St. Augustine was struck and killed by a driver this week while on his morning run.

Zander Laurin
Zander Laurin, 16, a sophomore wrestler at Ponte Verda (Fla.) High School, was hit by a pickup truck while out running before classes. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the driver drifted out of the traffic lane into a bicycle lane, striking Laurin, who was transported to a hospital in Jacksonville where he later died.

U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps St. Augustine Battalion Commanding Officer Larry Mull said Laurin was jogging Wednesday morning in order to train for an upcoming physical test where he had to run 4 miles in less than 55 minutes with a 40-pound pack on his back.

"I feel like he always looked forward to bettering himself. He was really outgoing and had a really good attitude about life in general," Mull told the St. Augustine Record.

Laurin was poised to become lead petty officer during a graduation event on Sunday. Instead, the battalion plans to honor his life with video memorial.

"He will be missed by his shipmates," Mull said.

Laurin's wrestling coach also weighed in with his positive assessment of the varsity wrestler.

"He would always pick everybody up. That was … his best quality. I mean, he, no matter, what the outcome of the match was, you know, (win) or lose he was right there with his teammates," said Ponte Verda High wrestling coach Josean Gonzalez. "We're really going to miss him."

Born in Indianapolis in March 2003, Zander Xavier Laurin was an active, involved young man. In addition to being on the varsity wrestling team, Laurin was a member of the U.S Naval Sea Cadets Corps and its Cadet Dive Team; in fact, he was set to complete his Rescue Diver Certification this summer. What's more, he had logged over 200 hours of volunteer service while in high school.

Services for Zander Laurin will be held Sunday, May 26 at Ponte Vedra Valley Funeral Home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, with visitation from 10 a.m. - 2 pm with a funeral service to follow immediately. In lieu of flowers please donate to K9's for Warriors of Ponte Vedra in Zander Laurin's name.

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Keyser Soze83 (1) about 3 months ago
How unbelievably sad. Zander Laurin was a kid that did things the right way and seemed to go the extra mile to challenge himself to become a better person and now he's gone. What a crying shame he will never get to live up to the potential that I saw in him by just reading a couple paragraphs.

while I'm sitting here calling hospitals and police departments in South Carolina looking for my degenerate youngest brother that is missing after calling my brother to wire him money (which he said yes) my youngest brother had more talent than both of me and my other brother combined and I played college football and my other brother played college basketball. moral of the story is pay more attention to your family members and communicate because everything isn't as peachy as they always claim it to be.