Zach McCune, 17, Stanwood High School senior

Aiming high: Wants to be a pilot. Applied to the Coast Guard Academy as well as the Air Force Academy. Was nominated by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen for the Air Force school.

Has an early admission appointment with the Coast Guard; waiting to hear back from the Air Force. Leaning toward the Coast Guard to fly rotorcrafts.

Why fly: “It’s just something that I wanted to do when I was little, and it’s always been in the back of my mind.”

Background: Both of his parents were in the Air Force, and dad works for Boeing. Also tried his hand a few years ago at a C-5 flight simulator – a massive military transport aircraft.

Class load: Has been taking a lot of advanced math and science to improve his chances of getting into an academy. Classes this semester include weight training, chemistry, college-preparatory English and college-level Advanced Placement physics.

Activities: On the swim team all four years. Also vice president of the school’s Technology Student Association, competing in events like Web site design.

Hobbies: Hunting, snowboarding, water skiing. “I like going fast.”

Seeing double: One of four siblings. His sister is his twin; their two younger brothers also are twins.

Favorite movie: “Top Gun.”

Favorite book: Anything by Tom Clancy.

Future: If accepted into an academy, “my plan right now is to stay in and, if I can fly, fly as long as I can.”

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