Harvard-Westlake Mourns Swimmer on Monday

The school asks the media for restraint.

A spokesman for Harvard-Westlake School sent Studio City Patch a statement on Sunday about the upcoming school-wide memorial taking place Monday for the swimmer, Justin Carr, who died on Friday.

The community mourned the death of the student athlete who died during a workout in the Studio City school's pool.

"The entire Harvard-Westlake community is mourning the loss of Justin Carr, a beloved friend and student," read a statement from the school regarding the death, which occurred Friday.

"Our hearts are broken. Justin had an enormous impact on students and teachers, and he will be missed profoundly," the statement said.

It continued:

Justin had an enormous impact on students and teachers, and he will be missed profoundly. Scholar, athlete, singer, actor, ebullient child, he was an extraordinary young man by any measure. 

Justin's parents have informed the school that the initial autopsy results indicate that Justin suffered from cardiomyopathy, a weakening of the heart muscle that can result in sudden cardiac arrest.

Harvard-Westlake officials are still looking into the incident.Head of Harvard-Westlake, Jeanne Huybrechts, informed parents via email of the 11th grader's passing. 

Last season, as a member of the junior varsity team, Carr was chosen as the Swimmer of the Meet when the Wolverines swam against Agoura High. Last April, it was announced he was one of 42 esteemed students selected to be a member of the 2012-13 Harvard-Westlake Chamber Singers. Carr, a tenor, was scheduled to sing in a European tour next month, according to a source. 

Carr also led the school’s Black Leadership Awareness and Culture Club (BLACC). He was a part of a group that recruited Samuel L. Jackson to come speak on campus as a part of Black History Month festivities. He was also a leader in the group’s community service efforts. 

The youth connected with Jackson, who was also a swimmer in school.

According to another source, he was mostly a scholar and artist who happened to have been a Junior Olympic qualified swimmer with Rose Bowl Aquatics. He aspired to be an architect, sang in the school's chorale, was one of the lead actors in Grease and other plays and was a student leader.

Carr was also related to Burl Toler, the first black referee in the NFL and was a star lineman and linebacker on the Dons' 1951 football team. 

"Harvard-Westlake requests the media respect the privacy of the family and the school community during this difficult time," officials said.

The school has an 8 a.m. assembly scheduled for Monday.


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