Delaware Senior Field Hockey Standout Heather Hartman Chosen as 2014 CAA John Randolph Inspiration Award Recipient
NEWARK, Del. –University of Delaware field hockey senior Heather Hartman (Mountain View HS/Fredericksburg, Va.) was honored Monday evening as the recipient of the 2014 John H. Randolph Inspiration Award by the Colonial Athletic Association.
CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager presented the Randolph Award to Hartman during UD’s Athletics Awards Banquet. Hartman’s parents, George and Lori, were also in attendance during the presentation.
The award recognizes individuals who through the strength of character and human spirit serve as an inspiration to all to maximize their potential and ability for success. It is named after former William & Mary athletics director John Randolph, who lost a courageous battle with cancer in 1995.
“It is incredible to receive such an honorable award,” exclaimed Hartman. “Four years ago, my life changed when I decided to come to Delaware and it sure has been an interesting ride. I feel so blessed to be healthy and alive. I know that my hardship was given to me for a reason and if I can inspire just one person to keep persevering through, it is humbling. I am so honored to be given this award and appreciate all that the CAA has done.”
Hartman, who started as a defender throughout most of her time in a Blue Hens uniform, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in the spring of 2012 after noticing a lump by her collarbone.
She underwent extensive chemotherapy and radiation to combat the disease, but insisted on continuing to take classes on campus. Hartman was able to continue to excel in the classroom and earned an impressive spring semester grade point average of 3.941 while working on her elementary education degree.
Despite her own misfortune, Hartman showed her character and integrity by continuing to help others. A variety of fundraising events were held in her honor, but Hartman asked that all money instead be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to benefit others in need.
During Hartman’s treatment, she also befriended a young boy who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and provided support with daily phone calls.
After completing her treatment, Hartman went to work regaining the strength and endurance needed to compete as a Division I student-athlete. She returned to play in all 20 games during her junior year, starting 17, and finished as Delaware’s leader in assists with eight.
Back at full strength for her senior campaign this past fall, Hartman was voted as a team captain. She started all 22 contests and contributed a goal and eight assists for a Blue Hens squad that recorded a program-record 17 victories in addition to earning both the CAA regular season and tournament championships en route to the fifth NCAA Tournament berth in school history.
“Heather’s positive influence and leadership is what every coaching staff dreams of,” remarked Delaware head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof. “Heather has allowed others to learn more about themselves and rediscover what is really important in life. It has been a privilege to not only coach Heather, but to know her. She has changed my life, impacted a program, and will continue to enrich the lives of others. Coaching is not limited to the ‘X’s and O’s,’ it is about the lives we touch and the relationships we create. We choose to coach to teach life lessons through the game, show our players’ compassion, deepen their passion, and help them grow as individuals. Heather Hartman revitalized this perspective.”
Hartman concluded her career ranked ninth on Delaware’s all-time assists list with 19. She will graduate from the University of Delaware on May 31 and plans to attend graduate school at the University of Virginia. Hartman also learned from her doctors this past week that she continues to be cancer free.
Former University of Delaware John H. Randolph Inspiration Award recipients include Steven Vincent (2011; Cross Country/Track & Field), Kevin DuPrey (2006; Cross Country/Track & Field), Julia Shapiro (2005; Women’s Tennis) and Mandy Welch (2001; Softball).