Alex Rovello, 21, jumped to his death over the weekend after diving into a local swimming hole at a Oregon national park in east Linn County. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Alex Rovello Played Tennis at the University of Oregon
According to the Gazette Times, Alex Rovello was a junior tennis player at the University of Oregon and graduate of Cleveland High.
“The Oregon tennis family is devastated by the loss of Alex,” Oregon men’s tennis Coach Nils Schyllander said. “He was an amazing person and teammate and his spirit will live on forever with all of us who were fortunate enough to have known him.”
2. He Drowned After Diving from a Cliff at Tamolitch Falls
The tennis player jumped from a 60-foot cliff at Tamolich Falls into a popular swimming hole about two miles north of Trail Bridge Campground on Saturday. Witnesses report that Rovello hit the water with his face and upper chest when he dove in around 2 p.m. The pool can be accessed by a 20-minute hike and cannot be reached by a car.
3. There Was No Cell Phone Service to Call for Help
The area of the swimming hole had no cell phone reception, so a witness ran for nearly two miles before he could call 911 for help.
4. His Body Was Too Deep for Witnesses to Rescue Him
Friends and bystanders tired to rescue Rovello when he did not resurface after the dive, but his body was too deep and the water was just 37 degrees. Rescuers worked through the night to recover his body. He was found dead between 30 and 40 feet below the surface.
“He wasn’t at all a risk taker,” Darryl Kealy, Rovello’s coach at Cleveland High, said. “He was always very careful with his work ethic — with his studies (and) with his tennis. It probably could happen to any one of us at some time. But for Alex, it’s very hard to understand.”
5. He Was the First to Win Four Singles State Titles
The tennis player was the first in Oregon to win four consecutive singles state titles. He was 65-2 overall in the Pacific Northwest and was ranked number one in the Pacific Northwest and 24th in the nation at one time.
“R.I.P. Alex Rovello” University of Oregon associate head tennis coach Jonas Piibor posted on his Facebook page, “I love you like my own son.”
His family is planning a memorial service for Saturday.