‘Everyone loved her’: High School principal remembers runner who died after Cleveland Marathon

AKRON, Ohio -- Loved ones are sending their condolences to the family of the woman who collapsed and died during the Cleveland Marathon, Taylor Ceepo.

Ceepo, from Medina, had just graduated from Walsh University a few weeks ago. Prior to that, she attended St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron.

Monday her high school, St. Vincent-St. Mary, came together to honor Ceepo, who appeared to be an incredible student and person.

“She had a beautiful smile and was very kind,” said Robert Brownfield, the principal of St. Vincent-St. Mary. “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.”

Before becoming principal, Brownfield was a teacher at St. Vincent-St. Mary. He said he taught Ceepo in multiple classes before she graduated in 2015.

“She was a straight-A student and I just loved her,” Brownfield said. “She was involved in so many things on the whole spectrum of what our strongest students get involved in.”

Brownfield said Ceepo was one of their peer ministers, a Eucharistic minister, and was on the soccer team all four years. He said she was in tons of activities including National Honor Society.

Ceepo was running the 42nd Annual Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon Sunday morning, which is 13.1 miles. She was less than a mile from the finish line when she collapsed. She was rushed to University Hospitals when she passed away. She was surrounded by her mother, boyfriend and friends. Her cause of death has not yet been released.

“I was really shocked,” Brownfield said. “Little by little we were finding out yesterday and we just couldn’t believe it. It was so sad.”

Monday morning St. Vincent-St. Mary held a prayer service for Ceepo. The school’s campus minister also made special announcements during school to offer a special prayer to Taylor. They will also have their weekly mass on Thursday which they will take a moment to remember her.

“We’re certainly mourning her loss,” Brownfield said. “She was a part of our family, always was and always will be. We wish the family deep consolation in this difficult time. We love Taylor and we certainly will hold her memory very close.”

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