Alabama swimmer John Servati dies during storm in Tuscaloosa

Anniston StarApril 29, 2014 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama student-athlete John Servati died Monday night as a result of injuries sustained during the storms that swept through the Tuscaloosa area.

Servati, a member of the Crimson Tide's swimming and diving team, suffered the injuries at a house off campus before being transported to DCH Regional Medical Center. He was 21 years old.

"John Servati was an extraordinary young man of great character and warmth who had a tremendously giving spirit," coach Dennis Pursley said in a university news release. "During this incredibly difficult time, our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to all who had the good fortune to know him. He will forever be in our hearts and a part of the Crimson Tide legacy."

Servati, a Tupelo, Miss. native, majored in business and was a Dean's List student. He was a three-time member of the SEC's Academic Honor Roll and a scorer at the SEC Championships.

"We are all saddened to learn of the untimely death of John Servati," Alabama athletic director Bill Battle said in a university news release. "He was a model student-athlete who excelled in his sport of swimming, his pursuit of excellence in academics, and his value as a son, brother, friend and teammate to all who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to John's family and friends as we grieve his passing."

A U.S. Open qualifier, Servati set the Mississippi record in the 100 backstroke and the 200 freestyle during his prep career. He swam for both Shock Wave Aquatic Team and Tupelo High School.

"John definitely had a genuine heart," Tide team captain Phillip Deaton said in a university news release. "He was a carefree guy who always had this huge smile on his face. He was my training partner for three years and I can tell you that while he liked to goof around and have fun, when he stepped up on the block he was intensely focused - he was a competitor and an amazing teammate. As a team, we are doing the best we can right now."

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