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Former SW DeKalb athlete dies at Univ. of Oregon | News

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Former SW DeKalb athlete dies at Univ. of Oregon
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Former SW DeKalb athlete dies at Univ. of Oregon

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- A former stand-out athlete from Southwest DeKalb High School has mysteriously died.

Lauren Jones was a gymnast at the University of Oregon and former captain of the Southwest DeKalb High School gymnastics team.

Officials at the university have not ruled out bacterial meningitis, but they are hoping an autopsy conducted on Wednesday afternoon will indicate a cause of death. There is some concern, because three other students at the University of Oregon's Eugene campus have been hospitalized with it in the past six weeks.

Jones graduated from Southwest DeKalb last year. In addition to being named most valuable player on the school's gymnastics team, she was a cheerleader and played in the school's band.

Friends and her former coach are devastated by the loss, and describe her as a charismatic young woman and gifted athlete.

"She just had it," said Southwest DeKalb gymnastics coach Kathleen Walton. "It was innate -- part of her DNA. When she walked into a room, she just had it. It's just indescribable."

University of Oregon officials said they will have additional information once they have been able to determine an exact cause of death.

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