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Former national collegiate hockey champion from Potsdam dies while jogging

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POTSDAM — A former Potsdam resident who was jogginglast week in Hannawa Falls died as a result of an undiagnosed heart ailment.

Kathryn A. Sloan McCourt, 42, Massachusetts, was found on the side of the road Wednesday evening by a passer-by after she collapsed while jogging along Postwood Road, according to state police who responded to the call.

Mrs. McCourt and her family were in the area to visit her parents, William N. and Armande C. Sloan.

St. Lawrence County Coroner June H. Wood, Potsdam, who assisted in the autopsy of Mrs. McCourt, said she died of natural causes. The athletic mother of three had a heart disease that was undetected prior to her death, Ms. Wood said.

“That probably caused an arrhythmia,” Ms. Wood said, referring to a problem with the rate or rhythm of Mrs. McCourt’s heartbeat. “It’s very, very sad. She had three small children.”

Mrs. McCourt was taken to Canton-Potsdam Hospital and pronounced dead at 8:07 p.m. Wednesday.

Mrs. McCourt graduated in 1989 from Potsdam Central School, where she was heavily involved in sports. She was goalie for the state champion midget girls hockey team and was named Top Stoners Athlete of the Year in 1989.

Continuing her athletic achievements at Providence College in Rhode Island, Mrs. McCourt excelled as an all-star goalie and helped lead Providence to a national championship in NCAA women’s hockey in 1993, the year she graduated.

She was a manager of talent acquisition and deployment in Rockland, Mass., at EMD Serono, a biopharmaceutical subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Besides her parents, she is survived by her husband, Sean P. McCourt, children Jack W., 5, Claire S., 2, and Will J., 3 months, and five siblings.

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