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Funeral services set for Darton wrestler

Ben Richards, a wrestler from Darton State College, died Friday following a heat-related illness. (File photo)

Ben Richards, a wrestler from Darton State College, died Friday following a heat-related illness. (File photo)

ALBANY — Funeral services for a Darton State College student and member of the school’s wrestling team who died nine days after collapsing because of heat exhaustion during a training session are scheduled at 10 a.m. Saturday in Tampa, Fla.

Services for Ben Richards will be conducted at 11 a.m. at Hillsdale Baptist Church in Tampa. A spokesperson at the church said visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Richards died late Friday afternoon at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Fla. He initially was taken to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital on Sept. 4, but was moved to Shands Hospital on Sept. 8 after showing signs of liver failure.

A sophomore at Darton, Richards was one of three members of the school’s wrestling team to collapse and require hospitalization during training.

Jaden Smith was the first Darton wrestler to be hospitalized on Sept. 3. Richards and teammate Alex Washington collapsed the next day during a five-mile run.

Smith has been released from the hospital. A spokesperson for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital said Washington remained in the hospital Monday in fair condition. Washington had been listed in good condition on Friday.