NORTON, MA- Wheaton College track & field junior Merzudin Ibric (Revere, MA/Phillips Academy), who fled a war-torn Bosnia in the late 1990s, is one of 23 athletes from Divisions I, II and III featured in a permanent exhibit at the NCAA Hall of Champions, which was renovated before reopening on March 12 in Indianapolis.
The story of Ibric, a 2007 indoor All-American, is displayed within the "In My Own Words" segment of the outdoor track & field exhibit. Just prior to the 1995 genocide that took place in Srebrenica, where approximately 8,000 boys and men were killed, Ibric and his family left that city before arriving in the United States in 1998.
A captain his junior year, Ibric has automatically qualified for the NCAA Championship in the 4x100-meter relay, as he looks to pick up his second career All-America honor. In addition to earning his fifth career all-league finish during April's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) meet, Ibric ran a leg for 4x100M and 4x400M relay quartets that broke school records last weekend at the All New England Championship.
Beyond his success on the track, Ibric has been profiled by ESPN and is working on an autobiography. During fall 2007, the international relations major joined Boston-area genocide survivors in a march against genocide. Ibric represented Bosnia, spoke at the demonstration and lit a torch to encourage 2008 Olympics host China to use its influence and address the crisis in Sudan. Two years prior, Ibric was the keynote speaker in Cambridge at a 10th anniversary commemoration of the Srebrenica massacre.
The Hall of Champions reopened with 23 state-of-the-art sport-specific exhibits and several interactive displays after suffering fire and water damage on November 14, 2007. The occurrence provided an opportunity to update the multi-purpose facility, refocus its content and add more interactive displays. The building originally opened in March 2000, after the NCAA relocated to Indianapolis in 1999. Please visit www.ncaahallofchampions.com for additional information about the Hall of Champions.