LAFAYETTE, Colo. -- On Saturday morning, Brandon Ries' cross country teammates did a slow lap around the Peak to Peak charter school track.
Some woke up just hours earlier to learn the sad news that the popular senior had died suddenly at a cross country meet in Broomfield Friday. High School principal Kyle Mathews said Ries collapsed during a 5K.
"It's just a tragic, tragic loss for us," said Mathews.
Cross country teammate Jay Kang told Denver7 "[Brandon was] an amazing teammate, an amazing friend, an amazing captain and leader."
The 18-year-old wasn't just popular among his teammates. Denver7 spoke to another friend, Sam Taylor, who knew Brandon since 6th grade. He said Brandon was one of the first to talk to him.
"I’ve never met anyone like him, he never says anything bad about anyone," said Taylor.
Ries also played trumpet in the school's jazz band, performed in speech and debate, and was a gifted STEM student. His principal said Ries was planning to visit colleges, including Johns Hopkins University.
Brandon had two younger siblings at Peak to Peak. His family was at his side at Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette when he died.
The principal said they'll work with the family to plan an official memorial for Brandon. In the meantime, counselors will be at Peak to Peak this week to help students and staff who are grieving.