Oklahoma Baptist University

Memorial Service Monday for Student Iván Maciuniak

A memorial service for OBU freshman Iván Maciuniak, a member of the university’s varsity swimming team, will convene at 7 p.m. Monday, March 12, in Potter Auditorium of OBU’s Raley Chapel.

Maciuniak died in a swimming accident on the OBU campus Friday, March 9.

The incident happened late in the afternoon at the 25-meter pool in OBU’s Recreation and Wellness Center. OBU President David Whitlock notified the campus community of Maciuniak’s death through an email message on Friday evening.

“According to those at the pool, Iván was swimming when he went under water,” Dr. Whitlock said. “He was pulled from the pool, CPR was administered, and paramedics arrived to continue CPR and transport him to Unity Hospital North. He was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after 5:15 p.m.

“Please be in prayer for Iván's family, including his brother, Mateo, a current OBU student, and his family members, who are in Argentina,” Whitlock said.

A 22-year-old from Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain, Maciuniak had joined his brother, Mateo, at the university in Shawnee, Okla., in January 2012, at the start of the spring semester.

The brothers played a key role in helping OBU win the 2012 NAIA Swimming and Diving Championship on March 3 in Oklahoma City. The Maciuniaks were on the four-man 400-meter relay team which won the final event of the meet to claim the national championship in OBU’s first year of intercollegiate swimming.

Approximately 200 members of the OBU community gathered for a time of prayer and support at 10 p.m. Friday.

“It was a family gathering,” said Odus Compton, OBU director of student ministry. “We wanted to love and support the swimming family within the university family.”

Compton shared a passage from Psalm 63:1-8, encouraging students to rely on God’s hand to uphold them in a “time when there are a lot more questions than answers.”

Mateo Maciuniak participated in the gathering and stood to thank the students for their demonstration of care and support. Dr. Sam Freas, OBU’s swimming and diving coach, also spoke at the event. Freas was with the team members throughout the night.

Following the gathering, approximately 300 OBU students met in front of the university’s Raley Chapel for an hour-long prayer walk for the Maciuniak family and Iván’s colleagues on the swimming team.

A medical examiner’s report is expected to provide more information on the cause of death.

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