The Walsh University community has been stricken with grief after a recent graduate mysteriously died while running the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Sunday morning.
Taylor Ceepo, 22, was just a quarter mile from the finish line when she suddenly collapsed, Fox 8 Cleveland reports.
Ceepo immediately received medical attention on the scene and was brought to University Hospitals. However, she was pronounced dead on arrival, according to Fox 8.
The athletics department at Walsh University confirmed her shocking death on Twitter writing, “It is with great sadness that our Walsh family has lost one of our own, Taylor Ceepo, too soon.”
“To all of our Cavaliers out there… please pray for Taylor, her family, Women’s soccer teammates and coaches during this difficult time,” the statement read.
Ceepo, who was originally from Medina, had graduated from Walsh just a few weeks ago. She majored in biology, with minors in both psychology and chemistry, according to Cleveland.com. She was also a part of the school’s soccer team.
The University’s Vice President for Student Affairs Amy Malaska said in a statement obtained by Cleveland.com, “It is my sad duty to inform you that a beloved member of our Walsh family, Ms. Taylor Ceepo, collapsed today while running the Cleveland marathon and has passed away.”
“Her mother, dear friends and her boyfriend (also a Walsh student) were with her. Our love and deepest sympathies go to her family and loved ones. Your Walsh family will keep you all in prayer,” Malaska added.
A statement posted to the Cleveland Marathon’s Twitter expressed sympathy in response to Ceepo’s death on Twitter.
“We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of the young woman who collapsed during the race this morning. Our thoughts and sympathy go out to her family and friends at this time.”
An additional statement explained that the Cleveland Marathon is currently “looking into” Ceepo’s death and “will respond appropriately once we have examined all options.
On Monday, a preliminary investigation “did not disclose a definitive cause of death,” Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Thomas Gilson said, according to Cleveland.com.
“Further testing and a review of medical history will be conducted in an attempt to establish a cause of death, which may take on the order of weeks. No further information available at this time.”
At the time of the race, temperatures in Cleveland were in the 80s.
In addition to Ceepo, University Hospitals treated around 60 to 70 people for dehydration, muscle strains and orthopedic issues, Cleveland.com reported.
It is not immediately clear if Ceepo’s death or the other cases were related to the weather.
Following the news of Ceepo’s death, her school held a mass in her honor. A larger memorial is being planned for a later date.
“She had a beautiful smile and was very kind,” Robert Brownfield, the principal of St. Vincent-St. Mary where Ceepo attended high school, said to Fox 8.
“She was a social butterfly who was very talkative with her friends. Everyone loved her since she had a very kind spirit about her and was super polite, just a great young lady.”
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