Editor’s note: This is the second in a continuing series looking at Santa Clarita Valley residents who earned acceptance into the various U.S. military academies.
Going to West Point was not always in the cards for recently graduated Hart High School senior Jeremiah Rasmussen. But once it was, he was running toward it.
Rasmussen said, before heading to United States Military Academy West Point two weeks ago, that as a student-athlete he had achieved a 3.89 grade-point average. And although he found success in the classroom, the 400 meters of track and the rolling distance courses of Santa Clarita were always his primary passion.
He said he had only decided to go to West Point in October after a friend had decided to go there and told him what life at the academy and in the military was all about.
“I wasn’t planning on joining the military, but I think it’s going to be a really cool experience,” said Rasmussen. “It sounded like a good opportunity … it was about the challenge.”
And even though he wasn’t planning on joining the military while growing up, he saw it as the chance to do something he had always wanted to do.
“I’m thinking of going into something along the lines of engineering,” Rasmussen said, adding that he enjoyed playing with Legos while growing up and could see himself as a civil or mechanical engineer one day. He’ll also be running for the Army Black Knights competitively in the 1600m race, mainly.
And although he’s always wanted to travel around the world — which he believes he’ll be able to as a member of the armed services — and be able to pursue engineering and running, which he’s always wanted to do, the challenge does have Rasmussen a little bit worried, he said.
“I’m excited and nervous,” he said. “There’s lots of military training, getting used to a military lifestyle while getting out of a civilian life. That is the thing I’ve been thinking about mostly.”
Rasmussen said he’ll need to complete West Point’s basic training program over the course of the next six weeks, which runs up all the way until school starts Aug. 19. But once that is over, the work for a student-athlete is not over.
“I’ll be waking up on time, doing more military training and then running in college involves running all around the country.”
Travel, school and training aside, he’s going to take it one day at a time, and continue to do what got him into West Point in the first place, he said.
“It’s going to come down to prioritizing my time, doing what you have to do, getting it done as soon as possible,” said Rasmussen. “Just staying on top of things is going to be a big deal for me.”