A student's sudden death stuns Lansdowne High

A student's sudden death stuns Lansdowne High

The Lansdowne High School community came together Tuesday night to mourn No. 19.

Kayla Linton, a 17-year-old senior athlete whose lacrosse jersey carried the number, died suddenly Saturday after she went into cardiac arrest after battling the flu since last Tuesday, said her mother, Kerry.

"There is no soul like Kayla's," she said. "Kayla was the happiest, most cheerful, loving person. Kayla couldn't even be mean to someone who wronged her. She didn't have a mean bone in her body."

At the boys' varsity basketball game, the Vikings came out to a roaring crowd.

Before the team started warmups, the players taped a T-shirt with a photo of Kayla on it to the wall. The shirt was covered with messages from the boys' and girls' teams.

"It's been very tough, but the community has been amazing," said Shaun Murphy, a technology education teacher at the school.

"She was one of our best and brightest," said Murphy, who taught Kayla last year. "She was an amazing person."

Posters were put up throughout the school's gymnasium in Linton's memory.

A Twitter hashtag, #KL19, has spread in her memory.

Todd Hawkins, the school's athletic director, said Kayla was dedicated to her school and the sports she played. He said she was a lively spirit who encouraged younger students to join athletics.

Kayla was on the school's girls basketball team for three years, but pursued track this winter. She also played on the school's field hockey and girls lacrosse teams since her freshman year.

A scholarship from the school's athletic department in her name is in the works, he said.

"She was a ray of sunshine," Hawkins said. "She didn't have any enemies."

Mychael Dickerson, a spokesperson for the school system, said grief counselors are at the school for as long as necessary.

A candlelight vigil in Linton's memory is scheduled for at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, in the back parking lot of Arbutus Middle School.

Linton's funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, at St. Mark Church in Catonsville, according to her obituary. Flowers will be accepted, but donations in Kayla's memory may be directed to Lansdowne High School Athletic Department, 3800 Hollins Ferry Road, Halethorpe, MD 21227.

An uncle said results of an autopsy will be available in three to six weeks.

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