Family Mourns 22-Year-Old Marathon Entrant Who Collapsed and Died

May 21, 2019 Updated: May 21, 2019

A young entrant in one of Ohio’s biggest running competitions is dead after collapsing in the race on May 19.

University Hospitals (UH) confirmed Medina resident Taylor Ceepo 22, passed away while being transported from the Cleveland Marathon to the emergency room.

Ceepo was rushed to the hospital after collapsing during the 26-mile course winding between Public Square and the Renaissance Hotel on Detroit Avenue, according to Marathon Spokesperson George Stamatis.

“It is with deep sadness that we can confirm that a female runner collapsed during the race this morning (May 19),” the spokesperson said on Facebook. “We are looking into this situation further but our thoughts and prayers are first and foremost with her family during this difficult time.”

Marathon Public Relations Specialist Cristine Torek told the Akron Beacon Journal that Ceepo collapsed less than a mile before finishing the race, while temperatures peaked in the 80 degree range. An estimated 15,000 entrants were offered the choice of running or walking, Torek said.

Executive Race Director Jack Staph said marathon officials are “looking into the situation.”

Walsh University in North Canton confirmed Ceepo had only graduated this spring and was a member of the soccer team on campus.

“Taylor graduated just a few weeks ago from Walsh University, with a biology—pre professional major, and minors in both psychology and chemistry,” the university said in a written statement. “Taylor was a member of the women’s soccer team and hailed from Medina.”

Ceepo was surrounded by loved ones when she passed away.

“Her mother, dear friends, and her boyfriend (also a Walsh student) were with her,” the university said. “Our love and deepest sympathies go to her family and loved ones. Your Walsh family will keep you all in prayer.”

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office had not determined Ceepo’s cause of death on May 19.

“The preliminary investigation into the death of Taylor Ceepo did not disclose a definitive cause of death,” the medical examiner’s office told 19 News. “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 is available at this time.”

Residence Life staff made themselves available to meet with campus students on the same evening and offer guidance and support. Staff also attended a mass service held on campus for students, faculty, and staff to “lift up prayers for Taylor and her family while supporting each other.”

Walsh University Spokesperson Andrea McCaffrey confirmed the university has offered to host a memorial service in her honor with a date to be announced shortly.

“We ask that the Walsh community pray for the family of Taylor and that God offer healing hands to all those who are mourning her loss,” the university said on Facebook. “Our prayers are with you all during this very difficult time.”