Track Star Antoinette Cobb of Louisiana Tech University Triumphs over Adversity and is Honored with 2010 Honda Inspiration Award
May 27, 2010
NEW YORK - Antoinette Cobb, a 2009 honors graduate of Louisiana Tech University and one of the country's top ranked 100-meter hurdlers, has been named the 2010 recipient of the 22nd annual Honda Inspiration Award. This award is given each year to a female college athlete who has overcome adversity to excel in her sport.
Shocking Diagnosis After Freshman Season at LA Tech
Colon cancer is one of the most deadly forms of the disease, and 90 percent of victims in the U.S. are older than 50, according to the Colon Cancer Prevention Center. Says Cobb of her diagnosis: "I was in shock. I thought only old people got colon cancer. I kept visiting different websites trying to figure out what was wrong. I just didn't want to believe it, even after the diagnosis."
Battling Cancer with the Same Determination She Exhibits on the Track
Assistant Track Coach Charles Ryan came to Louisiana Tech in 2008, the year Antoinette returned. "I really got a chance to see her determination," he noted. "It was clear that her cancer regimen had set her back quite a bit, but from the very first day she refused to be coddled. She would run every single drill, and never let her condition be a crutch or hold her back in any way. If I said, `That's enough for today,' she would say `Why? I can go some more.' While she ran very well in her first year back, it took about seven months of very serious training before she was back where she belonged. Then it was like a light went on, and there was no stopping her."
Like all Inspiration Award winners, Cobb was chosen not only for her athletic achievements, but also for her strength of character and for the outstanding example she sets for young women everywhere. She says she's very proud to be a Honda Inspiration Award winner, and is thrilled to be recognized by a program that has honored some of her track & field heroes in the past, like Gail Devers and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
Says Cobb: "I was really surprised when I learned I had won the Honda Inspiration Award, and I feel very honored. Throughout my whole ordeal with cancer, the thought of getting back to school and track were two things that really helped keep me going. If I had any advice for people facing difficult life situations it would be to focus on the things that you love most, because that is what can inspire you to return and to get well. The six months of my life devoted to undergoing surgery and chemotherapy actually increased my drive to succeed and decreased my fear of tackling hard situations."
Most recent Inspiration Award winners include: Nicole Hester, Basketball, Drexel University (2009); Patience Knight, Track & Field, Texas Tech (2008); Jess Kohut, Softball, The College of New Jersey (2007); Lindsay Payne, Swimming, Williams College (2006) and Brittney Kroon, Basketball, Seattle Pacific University (2005). (See complete list attached.)
The Collegiate Women Sports Awards, now in its 34th year, annually recognizes and honors the accomplishments of female athletes in NCAA-member colleges around the country. Acknowledging both athletic achievement as well as team contributions, scholastics and community involvement, the program selects winners in 12 different NCAA-sanctioned sports, including basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year will be determined by separate balloting involving all NCAA-member institutions. On June 21, 2010 at a ceremony in Los Angeles, at which the "Top Three" finalists are scheduled to attend, the winner will receive the Honda-Broderick Cup.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. has sponsored the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program for 25 consecutive years. Honda has donated over $2 million in grants and scholarships to universities over the course of the program. See www.hondaawards.com for more information.
For complete coverage of Lady Techster Track and Field, please visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.
HONDA INSPIRATION AWARD PAST RECIPIENTS