SEWARD, Neb. – School record holder and GPAC pole vault champion Cassie Starks has received the Inspiration Award from the Nebraska Chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation. The Nebraska Chapter recognized Starks at its Annual Education Conference Extravaganza in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday (May 30).
Starks earned the honor based on her success while living with hemophilia B, which causes people with the rare genetic disorder to bleed longer than those without it. The disorder often makes it more difficult to recover from injury and prevents blood from clotting normally. Cassie’s father Rick shares the disorder. There are roughly 20,000 people in the US with hemophilia – most are males.
“The award means a lot for the fact it recognizes my accomplishments and that have been able to inspire others,” Cassie said. “It was a complete shock to win it. I was just at the conference with my parents. They started to say ‘Concordia University’ and that gave it away.”
One of the greatest pole vaulters in Concordia track and field history, Starks won GPAC indoor and outdoor pole vault titles in 2015. She also broke school pole vault records for indoor and outdoor and claimed a pair of All-America awards.