April 30, 2015

Franks, Locus Named McWhorter Award Winners

Nathanael Franks from Arkansas and Maddie Locus from Georgia are the 2015 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athletes of the Year
Nathanael Franks from Arkansas and Maddie Locus from Georgia are the 2015 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athletes of the Year

By: SEC Staff
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – University of Arkansas track and field athlete Nathanael Franks and University of Georgia swimmer Maddie Locus have been named the 2014-15 Southeastern Conference H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athletes of the Year, Commissioner Mike Slive announced Thursday.

The two were chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from SEC universities and both will receive a $15,000 post-graduate scholarship, provided by AT&T, an SEC Corporate Sponsor, and the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

“Nathanael and Maddie demonstrate the kind of commitment to excellence in the classroom and in competition that reflect the high standards of the Southeastern Conference,” Slive said.  “They represent the very best that college athletics has to offer.  They are tremendous representatives of the SEC and their characteristics and accomplishments make them ideal choices for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award.”

Franks, a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University, is currently pursuing a master’s degree in accounting with expected graduation in Spring 2015.  He already completed a master’s degree in business administration and earned  bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and physics with a minor in history, graduating magna cum laude.

Franks was the recipient of the 2013 Coach John Wooden Citizenship Cup in recognition of his athletic, academic and community service efforts.  He was named USTFCCCA All-America Second Team in Decathlon in 2013, was the 2013 SEC champion in Distance-Medley Relay  and ranked fourth in school history in the decathlon and heptathlon.

Locus already has graduated summa cum laude with a double major in Mathematics and Italian. She earned the Outstanding Graduating Senior Italian Major/Minor Award, was named to the SEC and UGA academic honor rolls, and earned UGA’s Women’s Swimming and Diving Scholarship.  Locus was invited to the UGA Number Theory Seminar to present research from the Emory Research Experience for Undergraduates. She also was chosen as a speaker for the Romance Languages Graduation Ceremony.

Locus holds the third-fastest time in the 50 freestyle, eighth-fastest time in the 100 freestyle and ninth-fastest time in the 100 butterfly in school history and she led off the 200 freestyle relay that set the Georgia record. Locus capped her collegiate swimming career by earning All-America status in the 50 and 100 freestyle and on the 200 and 400 freestyle relays at the NCAAs. She also notched All-SEC recognition with top-5 efforts in those events at the conference meet as Georgia won its sixth straight league title.

The 13 other male nominees are:  Daniil Proskura, Alabama (tennis); Fraser McKean, Auburn (diving); Mike McNeely, Florida (football); Nicolas Fink, Georgia (swimming); Raymond Dykstra, Kentucky (track & field); Frank Greeff, LSU (swimming); Scott Weathersby, Ole Miss (baseball); Seth Heck, Mississippi State (baseball); Matt Hoch, Missouri (football); Cole Miller, South Carolina (swimming); Hunter Reese, Tennessee (tennis); Josh Lambo, Texas A&M (football); John Ewing, Vanderbilt (cross country).

The 13 other female nominees are:  Laura Lee Smith, Alabama (soccer); Kaitlin Flattman, Arkansas (track & field); Camila Jersonsky, Auburn (volleyball); Nora Barry, Florida (lacrosse); Dezerea Bryant, Kentucky (track & field); Rheagan Courville, LSU (gymnastics); Rachael Weathersby, Ole Miss (volleyball); Ally McDonald, Mississippi State (golf); Courtney Wood, Missouri (track & field); Erika Rucker, South Carolina (track & field); Cierra Burdick, Tennessee (basketball); Shea Groom, Texas A&M (soccer); Chrissy Oberg, Vanderbilt (swimming).

Past recipients:
1986 – John Young, Tennessee (track) and Virginia Diederich, Georgia (swimming)
1987 – Jeff Noblin, Ole Miss (football) and Julie Estin, Alabama (gymnastics)
1988 – Danny Hoskins, Ole Miss (football) and Linda Leith, Georgia (swimming)
1989 – Mikael Olander, LSU (track) and Deanne Burnett, Georgia (swimming)
1990 – Burke Masters, Mississippi State (baseball) and Janice Kerr, Florida (gymnastics)
1991 – Al Parker, Georgia (tennis) and Patty Wiegand, Tennessee (track and cross country)
1992 – Jeff Laubenthal, Alabama (baseball) and Jenifer Kleyn, Auburn (volleyball)
1993 – Lang Wiseman, Tennessee (basketball) and Aimee York, Mississippi State (volleyball)
1994 – Peter Duitsman, South Carolina (soccer) and Tammy Newlon, Mississippi State (basketball)
1995 – Michael Blanchard, LSU (football) and April Ecke, Mississippi State (cross country)
1996 – Martin Nyberg, LSU (swimming) and Michelle Palmisano, Vanderbilt (basketball)
1997 – Andrew DeVooght, Georgia (swimming) and Meredith Willard, Alabama (gymnastics)
1998 – Jeremy Jackson, Mississippi State (baseball) and Shani Abshier, South Carolina (volleyball)
1999 – Jeff Zurcher, Kentucky (football) and Jessica Field, Arkansas (volleyball)
2000 – Joey Pitts, Georgia (tennis) and Lisette Lee, LSU (golf)
2001 – Scott Westerfield, Mississippi State (football) and Kim Black, Georgia (swimming)
2002 – Trey Dyson, South Carolina (baseball) and Tiffany Woolley, Arkansas (softball)
2003 – Matt Bonner, Florida (basketball) and Kristin Sterner, Alabama (gymnastics)
2004 – Caesar Garcia, Auburn (swimming & diving) and Lauren Imwalle, Alabama (soccer)
2005 – Rob Robertson, Ole Miss (football) and Lauryn McCalley, Tennessee (swimming & diving)
2006 – Rudy Niswanger, LSU (football) and Sarah Lowe, Florida (basketball)
2007 – Emeel Salem, Alabama (baseball) and Erika Schneble, Vanderbilt (track & field)
2008 – Joseph Sykora, Alabama (golf) and Kristen Hastrup, Auburn (swimming & diving)
2009 – Bram ten Berge, Ole Miss (golf) and Christine Magnuson, Tennessee (swimming & diving)
2010 – Jordan Anderson, Auburn (swimming & diving) and Phoebe Wright, Tennessee (track & field)
2011 – Dan Mazzaferro, Auburn (swimming & diving) and Erica Meissner, Auburn (swimming & diving)
2012 – Michael Roth, South Carolina (baseball) and Wendy Trott, Georgia (swimming & diving)
2013 – Barrett Jones, Alabama (football) and Chelsea Oswald, Kentucky (track & field/cross country)
2014 – Cory Whitsett, Alabama (golf)  and Shannon Vreeland, Georgia (swimming)