From the sidelines column July 22

Seems they take the concept of “student-athlete” pretty seriously at Franklin College.

Grizzlies teams and athletes were no strangers to academic honors during the 2015 spring semester.

Late last week, the women’s track and field team was recognized by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association for collective academic excellence. The organization honors teams with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.10 or higher.

Franklin’s team GPA was 3.27, well above the minimum threshold.

Earlier in the month, the coaches association recognized 2015 graduate Anna Murdock individually for her academic achievements.

An Indian Creek High School graduate, Murdock maintained a 3.49 GPA — and did so while putting together an athletics season for the ages. Consider:

She was named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s MVP in women’s cross-country and women’s track.

She was an NCAA Division III All-American during the indoor and outdoor track seasons.

She was the HCAC’s Female Athlete of the Year

She has been nominated for the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

And in the final race of her brilliant four-year college career, she won the 800-meter run at the Division III Outdoor National Track and Field Championships.

Yet Murdock was not the only Franklin athlete to be nationally recognized for academic and athletics successes.

Artur Schneider, a member of the men’s swimming and diving team, earlier this month was named a Scholar All-American by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America.

For selection, swimmers or divers must maintain a grade-point average of 3.50 or higher and have competed at the national championships.

Schneider, a junior, did both.

A two-year standout for the Grizzlies, Schneider qualified for three events at the 2015 Division III National Swimming and Diving Championships in Shenandoah, Texas. He competed in the 100- and 200-meter backstrokes and the 100 freestyle.

His best finish was 17th in the 100 backstroke, narrowly missing the 16th and final spot in the finals.

But that wasn’t all.

In February, Schneider was named — for the second straight year — the Male Swimmer of the Meet at the NCAA Liberal Arts Championships. He won four individual events — the 200 individual medley relay, the 100 and 200 backstrokes, and the 100 freestyle — and was part of three first-place relays.

But Schneider wasn’t the only successful swimmer — athletically and scholastically — in the Grizzlies’ program.

Franklin’s men’s and women’s teams also were honored by the CSCAA for academic excellence. Teams had to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to be recognized.

The women’s team was well above the standard with a 3.30 GPA. The men’s team met the mark with a 3.04 GPA.

Rick Morwick is sports editor of the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2715.