UT alumni and former members of Tennessee’s swimming and diving team Michael and Nicole (Brannock) Gross were among those injured in the attack on Monday’s Boston Marathon. Dr. Ralph Harvey, an associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, also witnessed the incident.
The Grosses were near the race’s finish line waiting for Nicole’s mother to complete the marathon when the two bombs exploded. Nicole suffered two broken legs and has had multiple surgeries. Michael sustained burns and cuts. Nicole’s sister Erika was also severely injured in the explosion.
Nicole swam for the Lady Vols from 1999 to 2002. She graduated in 2003 with a degree in community health education. Michael swam for the Vols from 1998 to 2002. He graduated in 2003 with a degree in sociology. The couple lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Harvey ran the marathon and had crossed the finish line about fifteen minutes before he saw the explosions from a few hundred yards away. At first, he said, he thought it was a transformer exploding.
“The second explosion was larger,” he said. “I wasn’t in any danger, but I could see the police and EMTs reacting immediately.”
After the explosions, Harvey and other runners were bused back to the race’s starting point to help clear the finish area. An avid runner, Harvey was running his fifth Boston Marathon.
“This immediately turned a beautiful event into an ugly event with so much horrible pain and loss,” he said. “This is my favorite marathon because of the crowd support. When you’re running the Boston Marathon, you feel like you’re part of history. It’s an honor to be able to run it.”
With more than 23,000 runners in this year’s marathon, there are bound to be more Tennessee connections. The university has not heard of any current students who were at the race. If you were affected by the attacks, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.