From Harding University:
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - In celebration of the 40th anniversary of NCAA Division II, 48 former student-athletes are set to be honored by the NCAA throughout 2013. One of those former student-athletes is Harding cross country and track standout Janet Cherobon-Bawcom.
Developed through a partnership with the Division II Commissioners Association, the 40th Anniversary Tribute Team highlights one male and one female from each of the division's 23 current conferences, plus two at-large nominees.
"This group of former student-athletes is meant to reflect the core values of Division II athletics," said Josh Looney, associate director of Division II. "Commissioners have helped identify a diverse group of championship individuals from Division II's 40-year history. Not only did these former student-athletes act as champions in athletics and in the classroom, they have gone on to live championship lives as well."
Cherobon-Bawcom, a native of Kapsabet, Kenya and now an American citizen, competed for Harding from 2000-2005. She won three Division II national championships in track and was an eight-time All-American. For her exploits, she was inducted into the Division II Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Harding Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.
After leaving Harding, Cherobon-Bawcom continued her running career. In 2011, she was declared the women's champion of the 2011 USA Running Circuit. In 2012, she became Harding's first-ever Olympian and placed 12th in the 10,000 meters at the 2012 London Olympics.
Cherobon-Bawcom is one of two representatives from the Great American Conference, joining Drew Beard from the Southeastern Oklahoma State University football team.
The year-long 40th Anniversary celebration will feature a number of initiatives branded by Division II's tradition, history and community influence. A special 40th Anniversary highlight video was unveiled to Division II membership during the 2013 NCAA Convention, officially kicking off the celebration.
Each member of the Division II 40th Anniversary Tribute Team will receive a commemorative 40th Anniversary gift and is slated to have his/her accomplishments profiled through Division II media channels.
Conferences were asked to submit a list of nominees who are representative of Division II's ideals. The only requirement was that nominees exhausted their athletic eligibility within the past 40 years and attended a college or university active in Division II.