Article By Joe Guster: USMMA Director of Athletic Communications
Originally posted on landmarkconference.org
KINGS POINT, N.Y. — At the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, each midshipman is required to spend one year at sea as part of their curriculum. These are split up into a four-month term (usually during their sophomore, or “third-class” year) and another eight-month term (during their junior, “second-class” year). This makes for unique situations for USMMA student-athletes, who often have to have their sea terms arranged around their athletic schedules. For many, when they return from sea, they are just a few weeks out from the start of their teams’ seasons. Merchant Marine’s sports information department recently caught up with third-class midshipman – Mary Catherine Zehnder of the women’s cross country and track & field teams to find out more about her experiences at sea. Zehnder competed for the cross country team in the fall season, then went on her sea term for four months, and is now back for the outdoor track season.
Watch the interview below to learn more about her unique experiences out at sea and how she transitioned back into both her scholastic and athletic settings.