Maryland's Naval Academy grads reflect on time on Yard

By TIM PRUDENTE | The Capital, Annapolis, Md. | Published: May 23, 2014

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — They are going to Marine Corps training in Virginia, flight school in Florida and submariner school in South Carolina. Some of them groan when recalling plebe year chemistry class and King Hall casserole and all those early morning workouts.

Of 1,068 midshipmen graduating the U.S. Naval Academy Friday, about 30 are from Anne Arundel County.

“You get this feeling the first time you step on campus,” said Lauren Allam, a 2010 graduate of Chesapeake High School.

It’s a different feeling than she got dining at King Hall, she says, laughing.

“Let’s just say it wasn’t my favorite.”

In a few months, she’ll be rucking a 90-pound bag at Marine Corps training in Quantico, Va.

“I’m a little bit stronger than people think I am,” she said.

The workouts were easier for Allam, who threw the discus 165 feet, a school record that lasted two years.

And academics?

“That was more challenging,” she said, “especially, everything about chemistry.”

Matthew Jackson doesn’t see graduation as an ending.

“It’s a starting point,” said the 2009 graduate of Archbishop Spalding High School. “You actually get to go out and lead.”

He’ll be soon studying surface warfare at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, and remembering pitching for the Navy baseball team against Army. He also threw the javeline.

His favorite memory: beating Army in track and field in March.

Guy Skord graduated from Broadneck High School in 2010.

He expects to be sweeping for mines in the Persian Gulf in a few years.

Carinne Deleon graduated from Annapolis High School in 2009.

She relished an academy class on gender roles in society. She dreaded thermo-dynamics class.

“Maybe I got a C?”

Free time for her meant a cup of java with friends at City Dock Coffee. And she’ll soon by studying surface warfare at Norfolk.

Laura Burzenski, a 2009 Broadneck graduate, was among the few to miss the grueling Sea Trails her plebe year. She was competing with the sailing team then.

“I wish I could have done it,” said Burzenski, who will be attending flight school in Florida.

As a midshipman, free time meant a chance for her to return to her Annapolis home and indulge in her mom’s lasagna.

Her classmate, Gavin Snyder, graduated from Severna Park High School in 2010 and played soccer for Navy. He fondly remembers once beating Virginia Military Institute. He’s traveling next to nuclear power school in Charleston, S.C.

“The (Naval Academy) can be overwhelming,” he said. “Now that you’re finally graduating, it doesn’t even seem real because it’s been a long road.”


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