Former Kansas high school swimmer dies in accident at aquatic center
WAMEGO, Kan. (KAKE) - A former Kansas high school swimmer has died following a pool accident at the Wamego Aquatic Center, authorities said Wednesday.
The Manhattan Mercury reports authorities responded Tuesday evening to the report of a possible drowning at the aquatic center. Thomas "Wyatt" Balman was taken to a local hospital and was later pronounced dead.
Wamego police are still investigating the incident and have not released additional details in the case.
The pool was open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. The aquatic center was closed Wednesday.
Balman graduated from Manhattan High School in 2018, according to a statement from principal Michael Dorst. While in high school, he swam for two years and was awarded 1st and 2nd team at the Centennial League meet. He was also a state finalist for swimming in March of 2018.
Balman was a junior at Soka University in Aliso Viejo, California, and swam for two seasons, the school's website says.
"We are deeply saddened to learn of Wyatt's passing," Director of Athletics Michael Moore said in a statement. "He was a talented and caring young person who has been tragically taken from us, and this is a heartbreaking loss to our Soka family. Wyatt was a sincere and engaging young man with an infectious smile. His outgoing personality and contagious enthusiasm radiated throughout campus. He loved his academic studies at Soka and embodied the exceptional spirit of being a student-athlete at our university. This is a tragedy, and our sincere condolences go out to his family, teammates, fellow student-athletes, and our entire Soka community."