Winning the Harry Inskeep Scholarship from the Indiana High School Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame wasn’t on John Rupp’s radar screen.
The Columbus North senior had applied for the award; but in the midst of awaiting word on a few other scholarship opportunities, he didn’t think much about the Inskeep Scholarship. But earlier this month, Rupp was caught by surprise when he discovered he was the state’s boys scholarship recipient.
“It just arrived in the mail one day — ‘Hey, you’ve won this scholarship,’” Rupp said. “There wasn’t a big banquet or anything, just a screaming mother (Mary Rupp) saying, ‘You got the scholarship.’”
The $250 Inskeep Scholarship is awarded to a male and female who are well-rounded, positive role models who demonstrate excellence in academics, school and community involvement, character, sportsmanship and citizenship. Taylor Seufert of Southridge is the girls winner.
“It was a great honor,” Rupp said. “It came as a real surprise to me. Only one person in the entire state gets it, so it’s a nice surprise and honor to be able to get that.”
North swimming coach Jim Sheridan and Principal David Clark nominated Rupp for the award.
“John is one of those unsung heroes,” Sheridan said. “John works his butt off at everything he does. Any and every ounce of talent he has, he uses to its fullest, and that’s academically, athletically and his social skills. He fights very, very hard for everything he gets and definitely deserves that scholarship.
“It’s a very nice honor when you’re pretty much it for the state of Indiana,” he said. “He truly is a top-notch student, a top-notch kid, a top-notch student-athlete in the state of Indiana.”
Rupp ranks ninth in his class with a 4.23 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. He is head of events for National Honor Society, contact chairman for Key Club and a member of the C-4 Student Advisory Committee.
Last year, Rupp was the Donner Swim Club’s team athlete representative to the Indiana Swimming House
In the pool, Rupp finished third in the 500-yard freestyle and fifth in the 200 individual medley in this year’s North Sectional.
“I’ve had a great run at Columbus North over the past four years,” Rupp said. “I’m a little sad that I couldn’t made the state team, but I did my best. We have a great team, and I’ve been proud to be a part of that team.”
Rupp plans to continue his swimming career at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where he will probably swim the 400 IM and the mile. He plans major in engineering and to possibly also chemistry with the hope of becoming a chemical engineer.
“His work ethic shines above everyone’s out here,” Sheridan said. “Some kids don’t have total talent to carry them forward and don’t utilize the work ethic that goes with it. He’s a guy that utilized the work ethic to get where he’s gotten today.
“I’ll miss a guy like that because he is a workhorse of our team,” he said. “He gets out there dawn to dusk, and it’s 100 percent everything he goes, and I’d like to think that helps some of the other guys move along.”
What’s up with Rupp
NAME: John Rupp
SCHOOL: Columbus North
COLLEGE PLANS: Attend Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, majoring in engineering and possibly also chemistry