A 110-meter hurdle competitor at the Illinois State Track and Field meet was allegedly shot with a BB gun while he took a shower after his events.
As reported by the Belleville News-Democrat, Connor Artman, a hurdler and long jumper for Illini West High School in Carthage, was struck by two BBs while taking a shower after completing the preliminary heat in the 110 and 300-meter hurdles at the Illinois state meet. According to the News-Democrat, the defending Illinois Class 1A long jump state champ was struck in the back of his left arm and in his sternum during the shooting, which precipitated a move off the Eastern Illinois campus into a hotel for the Illini West team.
Artman, who committed to run track at Notre Dame, made a speedy recovery from the two wounds and was back in action at the event despite the shot, even if he was still shocked by being struck during a track meet.
“I was kind of freaking out because I didn’t know what it was,” he said. “I knew it wasn’t an airsoft gun, because it went through a pretty thick curtain. I was more mad than anything because I wanted to figure out who did it.”
Artman went to the room his father was staying in after being shot.
“I was in my room and heard a knock on the door,” John Artman said. “I opened it, and I saw him. He’s got a hole in his chest and blood coming out of it, and he said he was shot.
“I was more (angry) than scared, to be honest with you.”
The elder Artman wasn’t the only person angry with the events of the day. Yet his son was the one who made the most of it: Connor Artman didn’t defend his state long jump title, but he did finish second in the event, then also finished fourth in his two hurdling events. That was despite a less than exemplary performance by Artman’s standards.
“It was a long, hot weekend, and everything else was icing on the cake,” Connor Artman told the Herald Whig. “I’m not going to blame any of that though. In the long jump, I only made two of my six jumps. That’s on me. That’s something I’ve got to fix.”