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Video: Oregon High School Junior Breaks 800-Meter School Record And Falls Face-First At Finish Line As Mask Restricts Breathing – OHA Is Updating Its Mask Guidance

Maggie Williams runs for Summit High School. On Wednesday, Williams set a goal to break the school record in the 800-meter race. She ran the first lap in 61 seconds. Her head coach, Dave Turnbull, ran to the 200-meter mark to give her guidance on the last half lap.

“It was a beautiful day, probably one of the nicest days we’ve had in the last couple months,” Turnbull said. “No wind, 65 degrees. [Maggie] was ready to go.”

When Turnbull looked back to see Williams at the finish line, he couldn’t find her. “I thought maybe she took a knee,” Turnbull said. “She’d run really hard.”


Williams had collapsed, skidding the last few meters to the finish line. She crossed the line with her face at 2:08, breaking the school record by two seconds.

Video below:

Turnbull believes Williams suffered oxygen debt because of her mask.

“I knew it was from oxygen debt,” Turnbull said. “It had nothing to do with her conditioning. She ran a 2:11 a few weeks ago in Chandler, Arizona, and we didn’t have masks, and she finished standing up, walking around like no big deal.”

Turnbull says Williams struggled to recognize coaching staff after the collapse, and she couldn’t get up to walk around until 15-20 minutes post finish.

Before news of the OHA changes but following Williams collapse, Turnbull said he wouldn’t let Williams, or any of his athletes, compete in the 400, 800, 1500 or 3000 meter races if they had to wear masks.

“We’ll forfeit those events,” Turnbull said.

Turnbull said he was confident the state would change the rules. “I am pretty confident,” Turnbull said. “The science is pretty clearly on our side on this.”

And it seems that even do many “scientists” said that masks don’t restrict oxygen from entering the body it seems that OHA changed their stance after this incident.

They released the following statement:
this statement Monday afternoon:

“The Oregon Health Authority regularly reviews COVID-19 guidance based on medical evidence and evolving science. We are revising the current guidance on the use of masks outdoors during competition. The guidance will allow people to take off face coverings when competing in non-contact sports outdoors and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others and the other virus protective protocols.

* The exception will not apply while training and conditioning for these sports or for competitions.
* The exception will not apply before and after competing.

“Oregon at present is facing a fourth wave of surging COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations and wider community spread of the virus. Mask wearing has proven to be effective at slowing spread of the virus – particularly in conjunction with other protective measures such as physical distancing, restricting gatherings, hand washing and getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

“As always, OHA will revise guidance as needed to protect public health during the pandemic.”

After the announcement, Turnbull and Williams called this a huge win.

“I feel like we’re offering a safe activity for kids now,” he said.

Meanwhile, Williams said in a text, “I’m very excited that some good can come out of this situation.”