They ran with heavy hearts Saturday morning at Medina's Half Marathon.

It was just a week ago that fellow running enthusiast Taylor Ceepo, a recent Walsh University graduate, died after collapsing a quarter-mile from the half marathon finish line at the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.

After a moment of silence for Ceepo, Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell said the entire community mourns and its heart aches for the family of the 22-year-old who called the city her home.

Race director Beth Bugner said the 1,250 participants in Saturday's race were given ribbons to wear showing Ceepo's school colors of maroon for Walsh and green for St. Vincent-St. Mary, her high school alma mater in Akron.

Authorities are still investigating what caused the death of the young Medina resident last Sunday. In addition to being a runner, Ceepo also played competitive soccer most of her life.

Bugner said the tragic death of such a young athlete rattled not only those who participate in marathons, but the entire region.

"The racing community — whether you know each other or not — supports one another," she said.

Ceepo was a National Honor Society student who started her college career as a physical therapy major. She graduated this spring as a biology pre-professional major with minors in psychology and chemistry.

She lettered in 2015, 2016 and 2017 as a midfielder on the Walsh women's soccer team. She was also a four-year starter in St. V-M's soccer program, which climbed as high as No. 4 in the state during her tenure and earned a trip to the district final her senior year.

Bugner said she can't imagine what Ceepo's family and friends are going through.

"We hope her family can feel the love and support of the running community," she said.

 

Beacon Journal staff writer Doug Livingston contributed to this article. Craig Webb can reached at cwebb@thebeaconjournal.com.