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University chief praises people who tried to save Columbia athlete

University chief praises people who tried to save Columbia athlete

December 15th, 2012 in News

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) - Northern Michigan University's president lauded students and employees for trying to save a Missouri freshman on the school's soccer team whose body was found in the pool after a team workout.

Among those Interim President David Haynes recognized on Friday was Kelly Aldrich, the student who spotted 18-year-old Arianna Alioto's body in the pool at the school's Physical Education Instructional Facility. He also said Katie Theut, a fitness recreation manager, pulled Alioto from the water and called Theut's efforts "heroic," the Mining Journal of Marquette ( reported Saturday.

The school this week released information from its ongoing investigation into the Nov. 30 drowning. Officials say interviews confirmed nobody saw or heard Alioto in distress during or at the conclusion of practice.

A lifeguard told investigators that she locked the pool entrances and turned in the pool key to the front desk about 5 p.m., and rescuers were called about 5:35 p.m., the school said. Aldrich, who had been exercising in an area overlooking the pool, reported seeing Alioto alone in the water.

Officials say after attempts to resuscitate Alioto were unsuccessful, Alioto was taken to Marquette General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

There was no indication of foul play and autopsy results are expected in January, authorities said.

Alioto, a 5-foot-3 midfielder from Columbia, Mo., was redshirted this fall while recovering from a knee injury.