Track and Field Dedication Leads Skyler Goss to West Point Appointment
January 29, 2016
by Len Lathrop
Skyler Goss is described by Pelham High School Athletic Director Todd Kress as one of the hardest workers you will ever meet, a born leader, with complete focus on her goal.
While senior students/athletes sign letters of intent to play a sport at a college or university, the admission to a United States Military Academy is a bit more complicated, and Kress wanted to be sure that Goss was recognized.
Meeting Skyler and having a few minutes to talk, the first question was, when do you have to report to basic training? It starts in June, which is shortly after the Pelham graduation celebration. And, of course, why? She hopes the military, in addition to a college education, will help her grow as a leader and she likes the idea of giving back to the country. While she has several relatives who have served, she isn’t following ‘The Long Gray Line.’
We spoke briefly about the process to get into the academy, great grades, school leadership, good SAT scores and, of course, the appointment from a senator or congressman. Skyler’s mother, Claire, mentioned Senator Shaheen had four slots to make recommendations to the academy and Skyler was one of them. Claire also mentioned that only 9 percent of those who apply are accepted to West Point and that all cadets have to participate in a sports program.
While The Point is a four-year school, where most costs are covered, the enlistee makes a commitment to serve for five years after graduation as a commissioned officer.
It was at a U.S. Track and Field regional meet in Boston, where a recruiter from West Point approached Skyler that put her on the road to the U.S .Military Academy, explained Skyler’s mother. While at West Point, Skyler will be majoring in kinesiology with a minor in engineering. What she will do in the service is a question that has not yet been defined.
Skyler holds several track and field records at Pelham High School and also is a member of a private pole vaulting club from where she competes on a regional level with the U.S. Track and Field Association. Skyler’s current T&F records include the 55 m hurdles at 8.7 sec, 100 meter hurdlers at 15.4 seconds, the long jump at 17.1 feet, and the triple jump at 36.1 feet. In addition, she is the NHIAA division state record holder. When asked what she likes to do for fun, she likes to workout, especially weight lifting; she power cleans 135 pounds.
Three of Goss’ coaches were on hand for this event and all spoke highly of Skyler. Coach Tim Quanci, who is her PHS coach in the long and triple jump and, in the past year, also the hurdles, calls her a strong leader, driven, always visualizing what she has to do the win her event. Coach David Niemaszyk, who is also a T&F coach at Pelham, who also teaches physics, spoke about her work in the classroom as intense as her work on the track, a great student and athlete.
Skyler’s parents, Tom and Claire, spoke about how proud they were of her and her acceptance into West Point and how hard she had worked to get there. Skyler has two sisters who preceded her at Pelham High School, Ellisse and Avery, who both also ran track as Pythons.