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NKU cross country runner Elyse Black passes away during weekend at age of 23

Northern Kentucky University cross country runner Elyse Black passed away at the age of 23 this weekend, according to a statement from NKU President Dr. Ashish Vaidya.

NKU did not disclose a cause of death in the statement, which was sent out Sunday night.

“It is heartbreaking to start our academic year with tragic news. One of our students, Elyse Black, passed away over the weekend,” Vaidya said in an emailed statement to the campus. “Elyse, who was 23-year-old senior, studied Athletic Training as her major with a minor in Psychology. She was also a student-athlete, competing on the Norse women’s cross country as well as track & field teams.

Elyse Black

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Elyse friends and family in her hometown of Jackson, Ohio, as well as the members and coaches of the cross country/track & field team. Our student affairs and athletics departments will work closely with those impacted by the passing of Elyse.”

Black, from Jackson, Ohio, also participated on the NKU track and field team.

According to the NKU website, Black ran a 5K season-best time of 19:13.60 at the Queen City Invitational in 2017 while competing on the cross country team.

Black was a graduate of Jackson High School.

“We know that a loss of one of our students deeply impacts our campus community, and I ask that you care for one another during this difficult time. All of you are valued members of the Norse family,” Vaidya said.

“Counselors are also available to speak with anyone – student-athletes, students, coaches, faculty or staff — who needs or would like additional support. Our Health, Counseling, and Student Wellness Office services can be reached by calling 572-5650 and its services are listed here. We also have a 24-hour crisis line at 859-572-7777, in addition to the national crisis line available at 1-800-784-2433 or by texting 741741.”

“I want all of you to know that you are never alone – it is okay to reach out and ask for the help and support you need,” Vaidya said. “We are all Norse, and we support each other.”

(Information compiled from staff reports and NKU Athletics Communications)

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