INDIANAPOLIS – Gallaudet University's athletic department is back on the national stage as sophomore cross country and track and field student-athlete Ivan Alfaro (Yakima, Wash.) is featured on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) main website (www.ncaa.org) in its "Faces of the NCAA" spotlight.
Alfaro was selected because of his inspiring story that led him to earn the 2012-13 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Inspirational Award this past July. Alfaro, who is deaf and legally blind, has Ushers Syndrome, which is a rare genetic disorder that is a leading cause of deaf-blindness due to a mutation of any of 10 genes. This is an incurable disease. Alfaro did not allow his personal setback stop him from excelling for the Bison cross country team, as he was one of Gallaudet’s top runners as a freshman last season.
"I am so excited and honored to be featured by the NCAA in its Faces of the NCAA spotlight," said Alfaro. "I feel empowered and excited to think that other student-athletes and others will read the article and hopefully find some inspiration from my story. I hope I showed that it's possible to pursue a college education and compete in intercollegiate athletics."
Alfaro, who is a top runner for the 2013 GU men’s cross country team, was the first Bison runner to finish in the team’s debut back on Aug. 30. Gallaudet head coach Mikaela Hudson was thrilled to see Alfaro’s story shared nationally.
"What a feeling, Ivan is a remarkable young man. I’m over joyed that his accomplishments and story has been shared on the national stage," said Hudson. "It's a tremendous feeling witnessing Ivan's development. This is what I live for, seeing young people (student-athletes) succeed and accomplish all that they are after."
You can see Alfaro photo on the front page of the NCAA’s website and read the story written by Jessica Smith here.