Tufts University lacrosse player dies after choking at charity eating contest

A women’s lacrosse player for Tufts University died Sunday, a day after she choked during a hot dog eating contest for charity.

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Madelyn “Madie” Lee Nicpon, 20, of Suffern, New York, died at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston after she fell unconscious at an off-campus house in Somerville, the Rockland/Westchester Journal News reported.

Authorities said Nicpon was participating with other students in the eating contest when she choked, the newspaper reported.

According to the university, first responders performed “extensive life-saving procedures” and Nicpon was initially taken to Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, USA Today reported. She was then transferred to Massachusetts General, where she died Sunday afternoon.

“She was a talented athlete, scholar, daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin, niece, friend, dancer, singer,” according to her obituary.

In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Tufts’ lacrosse team wrote that “Madie will be remembered as a bright light, a social butterfly, an amazing teammate, a kind and generous person, a wonderful sister and daughter and a Jumbo that we can all aspire to emulate.”

About 3,000 students, faculty and staffers from the university attended a vigil Sunday night to honor Nicpon, nicknamed “Scooter,” the Journal News reported. Candles were placed around Nicpon’s No. 2 jerseys.

Nicpon, a defender on the team, got into one game as a freshman and three as a sophomore last spring, the newspaper reported.

Suffern girls lacrosse coach John Callanan told the Journal News that Nicpon was “a sweetheart, just a really special kid.”

Playing for her high school team, Nicpon earned All-Section 1 academic honors and, for her play, All-Rockland County and All-Section 1 first-team all-star honors, the newspaper reported.

It is not the first time a college student has died during a charity eating contest.

Caitlin Nelson, a 20-year-old junior at Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport, Connecticut, died after choking on pancakes on March 30, 2017. The contest was a university-sanctioned Greek life event, WVIT reported.

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