Going East to West Point

Christine Murray has four letters in track and three in soccer and now is going to play soccer at the U.S. Military Academy.  - Photo by Sean Lamphere
Christine Murray has four letters in track and three in soccer and now is going to play soccer at the U.S. Military Academy.
— image credit: Photo by Sean Lamphere

Christine Murray has always chosen her own path.

When an English teacher at Central Kitsap Junior High called her “stupid” her freshman year for wanting to read the unabridged version of “The Iliad,” she took up her mother Ruth’s offer to be homeschooled.

And when it came time to choose a university, she shook off three generations of a Navy family tradition to sign with the Army’s U.S. Military Acadmy at West Point, N.Y., where she’ll play for coach Gene Ventriglia and the Knights’ soccer team.

“I always wanted to be in the Army,” Murray said. “Everyone else in my family has been in the Navy — both of my parents (her father Michael is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy), both of my grandparents and three of the four great-grandfathers were all in the Navy. I’m not very fond of boats, and if you don’t like boats the Navy isn’t the right service for you.”

Nominated to the academy by Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Bainbridge), she leaves for the East Coast on June 28 to attend a picnic with the 12 other incoming freshmen and teammates the following day. Then on June 30 her life as a civilian is over as she reports in for basic training and four years of schooling at one of the nation’s toughest schools. After four years of schooling and two years of rotary flight school, she hopes to fly Apache attack helicopters.

“I’m kind of nervous,” she admitted. “I don’t know what to expect,” of the introduction to Army life and her spot on the Long Grey Line as a member of the Class of 2007.

What she has been sure of is athletics. Murray has lettered in track at Central Kitsap High School since her freshman year and soccer since being a sophomore. This year, she was picked as a captain of both teams, serving as an example to her younger soccer teammates by running before practice, and won the coveted “Cougar of the Year” award. In track and field, Murray is among CK’s Top 10 record holders in the 200, 400 and long jump. She also shares claim to the school’s 4x400 record which she helped set this year with teammates Crystal Lundahl, Shannon Guttierez and Niki Lesniak at the district meet.

Murray also has four letters as a football manager, three orchestra letters and played five years with the P-1 Royals soccer team.

With a combination of classes at CK and Academy Northwest, Murray has a 3.79 grade point average.

“Christine has demonstrated an unrivaled consistent, sustained, and superior record in athletic, academic, musical, moraland leadership talents in many and diverse endeavors. She is the consummate student athlete, and truly, in every good sense of the term, an All-American Girl,” her father said.

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