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Midshipman, 21, dies after collapsing during 1.5-mile run as part of exercise at US Naval Academy

A 21-year-old midshipman collapsed and died on Saturday during a 1.5-mile run as part of a semi-annual physical test, the United States Naval Academy announced on Sunday.

Duke Carrillo of Flower Mound, Texas, was rushed to Anne Arundel Medical Center after first responders were called to the scene in Annapolis, Maryland, and administered CPR before noon on Saturday.

Carrillo was pronounced dead at the hospital at 12:23pm, according to the Naval Academy.

‘My wife, Joanne, and I join the Brigade, staff and faculty in mourning the sudden and tragic loss of Midshipman Duke Carrillo,’ said Vice Adm. Sean Buck, the academy superintendent.

‘Our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences go out to the entire Carrillo family, and our extended Naval Academy family, during this extremely difficult time.’

The physical readiness test and body composition assessment are twice-a-year physical fitness assessments that the academy requires its students to pass in order to graduate.

The goal of these assessments is to ‘develop midshipmen morally, mentally, and physically’ for service in the Navy and the Marine Corps.

In order to achieve a ‘minimum passing score,’ students must be able to do 65 curl-ups within a span of two minutes, 45 push-ups within a span of two minutes, and complete a 1.5-mile run within 10 minutes and 30 seconds.

Female students must perform the same amount of curl-ups as their male counterparts, though they are required to do 20 push-ups within two minutes and to complete the 1.5-mile run in 12 minutes and 40 seconds.

Last year, the Navy ordered sailors to closely monitor enlistees who were put through the rigorous fitness test after four sailors, including two young female recruits, died within a 12-month period after collapsing during the assessments.

Kelsey Nobles, 18, of Mobile, Alabama, died after collapsing during boot camp at the Navy Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois, on April 23, 2019.

Seaman Recruit Kierra Evans, 20, died during the sixth week of basic training at the same base on February 22.

The Navy grew alarmed after the sailors died during ‘seemingly normal physical fitness exercise,’ according to a memo obtained by Stars and Stripes.

‘One loss is too many and it is critical that every Sailor understands the risk factors for exercise-related death and the strategies to minimize those risks,’ the memo stated.

Among the changes instituted by the Navy include allowing enlistees ‘do-overs’ for those having a ‘bad day’.

Officers are also instructed to halt physical activity whenever a recruit shows unusual distress or fatigue.

‘No one should risk their life by pushing through life-threatening conditions during a PRT,’ the Navy said in the memo.

Carrillo and his twin brother, Dylan, enlisted in the Naval Academy in June 2018.

Duke Carrillo majored in qualitative economics and earned a 4.0 grade point average last semester, according to the academy.

He is survived by his parents, Gerald and Jennifer, and his brothers Dylan and Jake, both of whom are Naval Academy midshipmen.

Dylan is a sophomore at the academy while Jake is a freshman. 

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