Student-Athlete runner Parlette passes away

September 3, 2013

The Wilmington College campus was shocked to learn of the passing of junior Jenna Parlette Tuesday evening (Sept. 3) at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

She had been in critical condition since arriving at the hospital after collapsing during an intercollegiate cross country meet Saturday (Aug. 31) at Franklin College in Indiana. The standout runner was leading the race and within sight of the finish line when she suffered a serious medical incident.

WC President Jim Reynolds alerted the campus of the tragic development late Tuesday afternoon. He shared that a number of faculty, staff and students spoke with him earlier in the day about how much Parlette meant to them, and how hopeful they were for her recovery.

“Jenna was a wonderful student who left an indelible impression on many who she knew on campus,” Reynolds said. “We all grieve for a life lost so early.”

He urged the campus community to “please take time this evening and in the coming days to remember the lives we all come into contact with each day and to give thanks for Jenna and what she meant to the many lives she touched.”

Terry Rupert, vice president for athletics administration, spoke of Parlette’s passing as a “great personal loss,” He had her as a student in class and “witnessed the joy” she exuded as a member of the track and field and cross country teams.

“We lost a true treasure, a real sweetheart,” Rupert said. “She was a joy to be around and a joy to watch on the track and cross country course — Jenna was a big part of our athletics family at WC.

“She will be profoundly missed.”

Parlette holds the school record in both the 5,000 and 10,000-meter runs in track, and is a five-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference designee in track and cross country. She was named All-Great Lakes Region after the 2012 cross country season.
Also, Parlette earned Academic All-OAC status and was an All-Academic selection by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association.