OC baseball, men’s cross country lead Heartland GPA lists

Heath Steele (right), an NCCAA Scholar-Athlete, helped OC's baseball squad record the highest team GPA of any Heartland Conference team in that sport for the 2012-13 academic year.
Heath Steele (right), an NCCAA Scholar-Athlete, helped OC's baseball squad record the highest team GPA of any Heartland Conference team in that sport for the 2012-13 academic year.

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 26, 2013) – Oklahoma Christian’s baseball and men’s cross country teams posted the highest team grade-point averages among Heartland Conference programs in their respective sports for the 2012-13 academic year.

The conference, in which OC just completed its first year as a member, released its annual academic awards list Thursday. As it is also doing on the athletic side, the conference is refusing to allow OC to compete for academic team championships, but OC’s programs compared favorably with those of other conference schools.

OC’s baseball team, coached by Lonny Cobble, had a combined GPA of 3.10, which was the best among the nine conference schools that compete in that sport at the NCAA Division II level. On the field, the Eagles finished 26-26 and reached the National Christian College Athletic Association World Series.

The university’s men’s cross country team, coached by Wade Miller, had a combined GPA of 3.27, best among the eight conference schools that compete in that sport. During the season, the Eagles beat every conference team against which they raced (including besting the conference co-champion three times) and won the NCCAA title.

Two OC runners, seniors David McWilliams and Brayden Barrientez, earned Capital One Academic All-America Division II first-team honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

OC teams had the second-highest GPA in the conference in four other sports – men’s golf (3.35), women’s golf (3.36), women’s cross country (3.39) and softball (3.28).

The conference did not include GPAs for track and field teams in its report, since it is not an official conference sport, so those numbers were not included in OC’s academic report to the conference. OC’s men’s squad had a team GPA of 3.19, while the women’s team had a 3.17 GPA.

Excluding track and field, OC’s men’s teams had a combined GPA of 3.11, third-best in the conference and trailing the two winners by just .01. The conference average GPA for men’s teams was 2.90, although that total did not include GPAs from OC and McMurry (Texas).

On the women’s side – also excluding track and field – OC’s combined GPA of 3.17 matched the conference average.

The combined GPA for all OC student-athletes – male and female – for the 2012-13 academic year was 3.13 (excluding track and field). The combined GPA for all conference student-athletes – excluding those from OC and McMurry – was 3.06.