Zlotnick pumped for spring, then challenges at West Point

From small town to college town, this Souhegan High School senior is almost ready to pack her bags.

Arielle Zlotnick, track and cross country runner for SHS, has made an honorable decision for her future.

The United States Military Academy at West Point will be her home for the next four years.

The decision for Zlotnick wasn’t a walk in the park. With her accomplishments both in the classroom and on the track, she had schools from all over America reaching out to her. Such states include Texas, Alabama and Virginia.

The application process to West Point goes beyond the regular college essay requirement. Arielle began the lengthy procedure at the end of her junior year by reaching out to state senators and representatives. To become enrolled into the U.S. Military Academy, one must be nominated by one of New Hampshire’s senators or representatives. Only one nomination is requested and it it takes hard work to be eligible. Zlotnick received four nominations, showing the years of dedication she has put in.

As for a major, she is leaning towards the medical field, “I’m not sure of my specific major but probably something on the pre-med track,” she said.

Her goal after college is to attend medical school and then become a military doctor.

“If I become a military doctor, I will probably stay in it for a while because I’m sure that I would love it. I would be active duty, and I would be deployed,” says Zlotnick, showing her great admiration for military service.

Candidates such as Zlotnick must also submit scores from several tests, some of which can not be completed on paper. Along with SAT/ACT scores, a medical exam and a fitness assessment must be completed to the school’s standards and observed by a military officer, JROTC instructor or physical education teacher. Arielle’s dedication to her sport has given her a “leg up” on the other candidates.

She has been on school cross country and track teams prior to starting high school, and it has been a dream of hers to compete at the Division 1 level. West Point has Division 1 track and cross country programs and competes against schools such as Boston University, American University and, of course, rival Navy. As one of the veteran distance runners in New Hampshire, her years of commitment prove she can handle the challenge. The Cadets will be gaining a strong addition to their team next fall.

As for her last high school track season, Zlotnick aims to focus on the two-mile race with a goal to break her personal record of 10:59.

With only a little over three months left until being sent off to school, Zlotnick will be leaving her home in Amherst and saying hello to a whole new life in New York state and beyond.