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Drowning victim identified as UMass-Lowell track star

July 14, 2015

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — The UMass-Lowell student who drowned while swimming with friends in western Massachusetts last weekend has been identified as a top student and a member of the school’s track team.

The school said in a statement that Oluwatoni Onikeku drowned Sunday while swimming in the Deerfield River in Deerfield.

Onikeku was an all-conference high jumper and sprinter on UMass-Lowell’s track team and was a political science major with a 3.15 GPA. He would have been a senior in the fall.

He was a native of Nigeria who more recently lived in Fitchburg, where he attended high school.

Track and field coach Gary Gardner called Onikeku “hard working ... focused” and a “true team leader.”

The death remains under investigation, but the Northwestern district attorney’s office says it does not appear suspicious.

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