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MICDS’ Kinsey performs well in water, classroom and air

Whether it is academics or athletics, MICDS senior Madigan Kinsey does it well.

Kinsey, who lives in Chesterfield, is the team captain for the swimming Rams. It is her second season in the role.

“I am very excited for this senior season. We have a great group of girls this year, and I expect it to be a lot of fun,” Kinsey said. “We will also be very strong this year with returning swimmers and some solid freshmen. I am hopeful we will have a full girls swim season, including state. Fingers crossed.”

MICDS coach Chris McCrary is counting on Kinsey this season.

“She has been a big contributor since she was a freshman,” McCrary said. “She has consistently scored in the top 16 at state in the 100 breast(stroke). She is a big part of our 200 medley relay. She will be a scorer at state and she will be a key player in all our relays.”

McCrary picks a junior and a senior team captain. He said Kinsey was an easy choice.

“She is very responsible and makes my job easier,” McCrary said. “You can depend on her to make sure the team is doing what you need it to do. She gets along with all the different girls on the team, and brings a lot of energy to the group.”

On the academic side, Kinsey is an excellent student.

“Academics always come first for me,” Kinsey said. “Swimming is very important, but my future is math and science, although I do hope to continue my swimming career in college.”

Kinsey scored a perfect 36 on her ACT. It’s rare for students to achieve such a score. The average composite score is 20.6 out of 36.

“When I realized I got that score, I was ecstatic — and relieved,” Kinsey said. “I couldn’t believe it. My goal going into taking the ACT was to do my best. Secretly, I wanted that score but it’s so hard to get. It was a reach.”

Kinsey also was a national merit semifinalist.

“When I received my PSAT scores, I hoped it would be enough to make the National Merit cutoff,” Kinsey said. “The score changes from year to year, so you have to wait until September of your senior year when they release the cutoff. It was exciting when I found out I made it. It’s such an honor and really makes me feel that all my hard work has been worth it.

“This past summer I found out about being an AP Scholar with honors. It was completely unexpected and I didn’t even know that was a thing. I was just excited that I got fives on my AP physics and AP BC calculus exams.”

McCrary was not surprised.

“Madigan is very smart, and a hard worker,” McCrary said. “You put those two things together and the sky is the limit.”

Madigan Kinsey (Photo courtesy of the Kinsey family)

As far as hobbies away from school sports and studies, Kinsey has one that’s unusual for one so young. She is a pilot. She recently qualified for solo flight and completed her tests to fly. She is proud of earning her pilot’s license.

“I have to be honest, flying solo is a lot of fun,” Kinsey said. “It is a major responsibility and I do not take it lightly. I am proud to be a female pilot and plan to continue flying in college.

“The feeling of being in the air is like no other, especially when you are in control of the motion. My favorite part of flying is overcoming the challenges it presents. In general, I think, flying is a unique and challenging pursuit since you are a couple of thousand feet in the air and rely only on your aircraft and your ability. It is thrilling.”

McCrary said he doesn’t believe he’s ever had a student be a pilot.

“It’s definitely a unique hobby for a high schooler,” McCrary said. “Somehow it fits with Madigan. She’s a unique high schooler.”

Rockwood Swim Club coach Sean Harrison agreed.

“I have never had a swimmer that was still in high school be able to fly a plane,” Harrison said. “It is a very cool accomplishment and something truly unique about her. Her friends think it is very cool as well.”

For now, she is concentrating on her swimming. Her usual events are the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke. She is trying out some other events like the 50 and 500 freestyle.

“My goal as a senior is to be a leader on the team and finish out my high school career strong and have fun with it,” Kinsey said.

Kinsey has been a club swimmer for 12 years. She has been with the Rockwood Swim Club for the last two years, which she said has made her a better swimmer.

“In this short time, it has changed my mindset and work ethic toward swimming,” Kinsey said. “After taking a break from club swimming, I switched to Rockwood after my sophomore year. The coaches and other swimmers on Rockwood were so welcoming and changed my perspective of what it means to be a team. I found my love for swimming again with Rockwood.”

Harrison said Kinsey has put in the work to become a better swimmer.

“Madigan has a great work ethic, although she does need to be pushed periodically,” Harrison said. “She seems happy at practice and enjoys doing the sport with her friends. I am very happy that Madigan decided to join our team. She is a great teammate, friend and leader. She knows how to lighten the mood at practice and make it fun for others, but also works hard.”

After MICDS, Kinsey will go to college. She has been accepted to West Point and to the Air Force Academy.

“I received a letter of acceptance to West Point in August and the Air Force Academy in November,” Kinsey said. “I have also been accepted to the University of Arizona Honors College. I was overjoyed at the news of each school, especially West Point since it was my first acceptance.”

She has been awarded a Type 1 Air Force ROTC scholarship, which is their top four-year scholarship. Only 154 were awarded last year. So Kinsey is part of a small group to earn the prestigious scholarship.

“My plan had always been to go into the military,” Kinsey said. “To be in the first group of applicants selected and to receive a Type 1 (there are four ROTC scholarships) is overwhelming.”

Kinsey has not decided yet where she go.

“It is a very tough choice. Either way, my goal is to serve my country,” Kinsey said. “But I’m not ready to say what my top choice is yet. In college, I plan to study aerospace engineering and hopefully bring a unique perspective as a pilot freshman year. My dream is to be a test pilot (astronaut) and pilot us to Mars.”

Her two non-academy choices are MIT and CalTech.

“As I was filling out my application, my USAFA liaison suggested I look into AFROTC at MIT, Caltech and Stanford. He felt that might be a better path for me based on my academic qualifications and my major. Both schools are top-ranked engineering programs. I am also applying to Georgia Tech,” she said.

Kinsey keeps a grounded perspective on everything.

“As amazing as my opportunities have been this year, I don’t always win,” Kinsey said. “I have worked very hard and sometimes things don’t go my way. My mindset is to keep working hard and never give up.”

She is looking forward to the next step in her life.

“I am 100% ready for life after MICDS and could not be better prepared for the next challenges,” Kinsey said. “I have prepared for this my whole life.”

McCrary predicted Kinsey will be a success.

“She’s a great ambassador for MICDS. She does a ton of extracurricular,” McCrary said. “I helped her with some of her fitness tests this summer for the Naval Academy and West Point. She worked hard at those and did great. She has big goals and the talent and work ethic to achieve them.

“Whether she ends up at the Naval Academy, West Point, or MIT, she will do well and go far. She has a wonderfully supportive family, and that counts for a lot, too.”

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