EMMETT — A Boise doctor died Saturday while competing in the swimming portion of the 11th Emmett’s Most Excellent Triathlon.

Dr. Matthew Sell, 58, a neonatal and perinatal specialist in Boise, died of a possible cardiac arrest during the .9-mile swim at Blacks Canyon Reservoir, race official Ken Runyan said. Sell had no pulse when lifeguards pulled him from the water and was declared dead after he was transported to a hospital in Boise by air ambulance.

“This race is a United States Triathlon sanctioned event,” Runyan said. “They have rules about how many emergency crews we have working. It is times like this that we are glad we have them.”

Twenty-four kayaks, 12 lifeguards and four power boats were on standby for the swim portion of the triathlon.

Sell graduated from a Wisconsin medical school in 1980 and had 28 years of experience.

5 things to consider before you buy or build


Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.