A number of people with University of Richmond track and cross country connections were present either as runners or spectators during Monday's Boston Marathon, where two explosions near the finish line killed at least three and injured hundreds more.
The exact number of people with Spider connections is not yet known, but no word of injuries has been reported as of yet, according to Jon Molz, assistant coach for the men's track and cross country programs. Molz's immediate contacts are fine.
"I just know people are fine from seeing Facebook statuses saying 'Glad everybody is okay' and stuff like that," Molz wrote in a text message to The Collegian.
One of the people confirmed to be there and fine is incoming freshman Maddie Wittich, of West Springfield High School in Northern Virginia, who will join the women's track and cross country teams.
"She is okay but was right between the two blasts with her family," Molz wrote.
Molz was able to identify Wittich from a photo taken by Bill Greeneof The Boston Globe. The photo has received national recognition because former New England Patriots offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi is next to Wittich carrying a woman, Maddie's mother, to safety. Maddie is wearing a Richmond sweatshirt in the picture.
Milestat.com, which provides coverage of high school track and cross country in Virginia, posted on its Facebook page that "Wittich was watching the marathon with her sister and mom near the finish line when the explosions went off."
Sophomore Taylor Clevinger, who hosted Wittich when she visited campus this year, said that she had sent Wittich a message on Tuesday, but had yet to hear back from her.
Jeff Watson was one of several Richmond alumni who ran in the marathon, Molz wrote. Watson has not yet responded to an email requesting an interview (UPDATE- Watson Interview). Men's track and cross country coach Steve Taylor and his wife, women's track and cross country coach Lori Taylor, also have not yet responded to requests for comment.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available. If you have pertinent information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(UPDATE- Molz has since submitted this statement via email to The Collegian: "Every year a number of Spider alumni, family members, and friends run in the Boston Marathon so naturally we were holding our breath when news of the explosions broke. As far as we know at this moment, despite a couple of close calls, it seems that those with Spider running connections are physically fine, though of course an event of this nature impacts everybody that was in the area in some way. We share the feelings of those around the country and send our prayers and best wishes to all of the people affected by this tragedy.")
Contact staff writer David Weissman at email@example.com