CLEVELAND — A special Mass is planned for Monday morning at 7:15 a.m. at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School for 22-year-old Taylor Ceepo, who collapsed and died during the 42nd Annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.
Ceepo graduated from SVSM in 2015 and just graduated a few weeks ago from Walsh University, where she was a member of women’s soccer team and earned a degree in biology, with minors in psychology and chemistry.
She was running the half marathon Sunday morning, which is 13.1 miles, and nearing the finish line when she suddenly collapsed around 8:56 a.m.
According to a spokesperson with University Hospitals, Ceepo was rushed to their main campus emergency room where she passed away.
It’s unclear what caused the collapse at this time, but other runners told FOX 8 that the unseasonably hot, humid weather was definitely a factor.
After a cool spring, this was the first day many had run outside in temperatures above 50-60 degrees.
“It was tough,” said Michael Schaffer, “I saw more people than I’ve ever seen cramping, a lot more people walking.”
The death is hitting the running community very hard with many sharing condolences online.
“My heart goes out to her family and friends it’s just a tragedy on what is supposed to be such a special day,” said Schaffer.
Walsh University released the following statement to FOX 8 regarding Ceepo’s passing. It reads in part:
“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. Taylor graduated just a few weeks ago from Walsh University, with a biology – pre professional major, and minors in both psychology and chemistry. Taylor was a member of the Women’s Soccer Team, and hailed from Medina. 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.
Residence Life staff will also be present on campus to assist students currently on campus during this difficult time.”
Meanwhile, her collegiate soccer team is also mourning her loss. Walsh Athletics released the following statement on Twitter:
“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.”
SVSM released the following statement:
“On behalf of the St. Vincent-St. Mary community, we extend our deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers to the parents, family and friends of Taylor Ceepo VM15. Taylor passed away today after she collapsed while running the Cleveland Marathon. We pray that all may find some solace in God’s grace, and support through Taylor’s extended STVM family. We invite our community to join together in prayer at Mass at St. Vincent-St. Mary on Monday morning at 7:15 a.m.
‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ Matthew 18:20″
The SVSM Girl’s Soccer team also issued their condolences in a statement shared online. It reads:
“Our hearts are broken as one of our former players, Taylor Ceepo, passed away today. Shocked and saddened, but forever grateful she was a part of ours lives, Taylor will be greatly missed.”