Hard Work Pays off for Navy's Kierstin King

By Matt Muzza - Navy Sports Information

Coming off back-to-back Patriot League championships and NCAA tournament appearances, legendary head coach Cindy Timchal has promptly placed Navy on the national scene. However, there is much more to the program than wins and losses; the team is filled with model Midshipmen who excel in all aspects of the Naval Academy.

One of the many impressive women's lacrosse players is senior Kierstin King. The 2010 All-American is Navy's defensive on-the-field leader and also an inspirational student that has proven hard work in the classroom pays off.

Although King recently made her second appearance on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, her academic success is not something she takes for granted.

By her own account, the Upperco, Md. native did not get off to the best of starts academically at the Naval Academy, as she completed her plebe year with a 2.4 cumulative GPA. Although she was certainly in good academic standing, the former two-time U.S. Lacrosse Academic All-American at Hereford High School knows grades are very important at the ultra-competitive Naval Academy.

"When you're a plebe, you're just trying to make it through the year, and sometimes academics can be pushed aside," said King. "After my freshman year, I looked at my grades and realized I had to reevaluate myself and work harder. At that point, I didn't know what I wanted to service select and I didn't want to shut any doors, knowing that these grades would ultimately determine my career."

As a sophomore, King brought a new determination to her academics. She developed a better handle on managing the busy schedule of a varsity athlete at the Naval Academy and improved her study habits. With a number of plebe responsibilities now behind her, she was able to devote more time to her coursework.

King's GPA showed measurable progress immediately. She earned a 2.9 in the fall of her sophomore year and followed that with a 3.4 in the spring.

Not one to be complacent, King continued to put forth her full dedication to her coursework during her junior year. The oceanography major reached new heights in the fall semester, earning a perfect 4.0 GPA.

When the lacrosse team is in season in the spring, King's obligations increase, but one would not have been able to tell from her GPA. Another 4.0 in the spring semester capped off a perfect junior year in which King earned straight A's.

"It was rewarding to know that if you put in the effort, you can do it," King said. "It was definitely hard work and a lot of extra hours, but it was great to see it pay off."

King's Academic Order of Merit ranking skyrocketed from the lower quarter of her class as a freshman, to the upper third heading into her senior year, increasing her rank by nearly 600 spots. King now holds a 3.2 cumulative GPA and an even more impressive 3.9 GPA in her major of oceanography.

As her grades continue to rise, King is hopeful that she will get her top choice for her service selection. King is eyeing a career as a surface warfare office working in Naval Oceanography and Meteorology (MetOc), where she would be dealing with all the meteorology and oceanography undertakings of a specific ship.

With commissioning just months away, a Naval career partially inspired by her father will soon come to fruition. King's father, Jeffrey, was a 26-year enlisted member of the Navy's Construction Battalion and she always had positive feelings towards her father's Navy career.

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