Baker completes fitness exam for military academy

Alex Kim, Sports Blogger

Noah Baker, senior, entered HHS Friday morning with one thought on his mind: passing his Service Academy fitness exam.

With the fitness exam, Baker will be eligible to submit applications to the West Point and Naval Academies.

“I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time and have worked very hard,” Baker said.

Baker has his sights set on West Point since the beginning of his junior year and has worked tirelessly to fulfill his goal of attending a service academy. Baker has gone as far to reaching out to politicians and congressmen to represent him and improve his application.

The fitness exam, the last of his criteria, is a grueling physical test of strength, speed, and willpower. The test includes a basketball throw, pull-ups, shuttle runs, sit-ups, push-ups, and a mile run.

The test was held Friday at 9:30 am at the Lindbergh Center.

The exam was monitored by Mr. Vincent Paolucci, Physical Education.

“I usually do this test once every year or two. The students who come in asking for my help are so determined and have been working very hard,” Paolucci said.

Baker started his test on his knees, tasked with the basketball throw. Baker threw a 72’ 9” throw to beat his personal best by eight feet. Next, the hopeful recruit impressed in the pull-up section by doing 18 pull ups in only 29 seconds.

The exam calls for a maximum of 18 reps with a maximum time of two minute.

After running a qualifying, nine second shuttle run, Baker moved to the sit-up and push-up section.

Military Academies’ fitness exam calls for a maximum of 95 sit-ups in two minutes and a maximum of 75 push-ups in also two minutes with a short break in-between.

Baker max’d out on the sit-ups and push-ups in respective times of 1:49 and 1:22.

The most gruesome challenge was saved for last.

The mile run.

“We used the track around the basketball courts instead of the normal Lindbergh track which means I had to run eight laps instead of six,” Baker said.

Baker chose to run the mile around the basketball courts to keep his focus on his test rather than on the Lindbergh track.

“Mr. Price’s gym class had heart monitors today and were running on the Lindbergh track. I wanted to be alone when I ran my mile,” Baker said.

The average time of completion for the mile is six minutes 43 seconds. Baker finished in 7:48 minutes.

“I was just gassed. My personal best is 6:35 and I usually average a 6:53 mile time,” Baker said. “I’m disappointed with myself but I feel very confident in the other exercises.”

Nevertheless, Baker was above average in most of the criteria, and max’d out in almost all the other categories. Baker beat the average candidate in the basketball throw by six feet, the pull ups by nine, sit-ups by 24, and push-ups by 21.

“I know my acceptance into West Point is out of my control but I feel like I will serve my country in the way I felt like I was led to in one way or the other,” Baker said.