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Friends remember former Arbor View principal who died in triathlon

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Friends remember former Arbor View principal who died in triathlon

By Jacqui Heinrich. CREATED Oct 20, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- We're learning more about the man who was found unresponsive in the water at the Pumpkinman Triathlon at Lake Mead Saturday morning.

59-year-old Patrick Hayden was participating in the swimming leg of the race when a kayak patroller found his body; first responders performed CPR but could not save his life.

Since his death former colleagues have been gathering at Arbor View High School, the school Hayden opened as Principal back in 2005, to find support in the community Hayden loved, and loved him back.

"My initial reaction was I wanted to call Pat and find out how to react because I didn't know what to do," Travis Warnick, Principal of Brinley Middle School told Action news of Hayden's passing. "There were kids struggling, he knew parents that were out of work and how we could help that student. In a school of 3,000 students he knew who needed his help," Warnick said.

Denise Tomchek, Assistant Principal at Arbor View, remembered Hayden as a father-like figure, someone who everybody in the community could turn to for help. "He was just there, for everything and anybody. What a void, how can we replace that?" she said. 

A baseball field named in Hayden's honor behind the school marks his standing in the community both before and after his death. Staff are working with the family to arrange a memorial for the former principal.

An autopsy report is scheduled to determine the cause of Hayden's untimely death. Family members confirm Hayden was a trained athlete and had competed in triathlons in the past; they say he had no health conditions that they knew of.

Jacqui Heinrich

Jacqui Heinrich

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Jacqui Heinrich is currently a general assignment reporter for Action News.