Local Teen Receives Third Nod for Merchant Marines

Friday, January 31 2014

An Unalaska teen has received his third congressional nomination to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

High school senior Dylan Magnusen was at the PCR Thursday night for pick-up soccer. He remembers that’s also where he was when he heard from Alaska Sen. Mark Begich with the news he’d received his first nomination for the Merchant Marines.

"I was actually lifting here, and then [recreation assistant] James [Gregory] comes up running. He’s like, ‘The senator’s on the phone!’ It’s like, what?!" he says, laughing.

Since then, Magnusen has received nominations from Rep. Don Young, and, yesterday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

"Most people have trouble getting one, you know?" Magnusen says. "We’re from a small state, but still, getting three is pretty good. Yeah, so I’m pretty stoked."

The Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., is one of five American service academies that require a congressional nomination for admission. They’re free once you get in.

Magnusen says he talked about his athletic achievements and volunteer work in his letters asking for the nominations. That includes placing twice at the state high school wrestling championships, and setting a world record for the kneel jump at the Native Youth Olympics. He says he also talked about coaching youth recreational soccer every year since seventh grade.

He says he’s grown up on the water and wanted to attend a maritime academy in part due to his father, Troy Magnusen, who captains the state trooper patrol vessel Stimson. Cadets at maritime colleges learn a range of navigational and seafaring skills.

Magnusen applied to similar schools in California, New York and Massachusetts that charge tuition and don’t require a nomination. He also applied to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

But he says there’s a reason he’s especially interested in the Merchant Marines.

"I’m ready to wrestle in college, that’s my main thing. That’s kind of the main thing about Kings Point, too, is they’re the only maritime college with a wrestling team," he says. "I definitely don’t want to stop wrestling, so that’s kind of one of the main goals -- that, and it’s free. But mainly I just want to wrestle."

With his nominations in hand, Magnusen will apply directly to the Academy. He’ll be competing with other students all around the country for admission.

BrianUnAK on Friday, January 31 2014:

Congratulations Dylan. We are proud of you. A fine example of hard work and dedication!

Smart Alek on Friday, January 31 2014:

OK - so I went to college for an education and not wrestling - does that make me unusual? LOL
A great honor though, Congratulations Dylan

Shirley on Friday, January 31 2014:

Way to go Dylan! I am not at all surprised that you got it.

Shelley Rogers on Friday, January 31 2014:

Awesome & inspirational! Great job!

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