GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - St. Patrick High School senior Ramsey Wagner has dreamed of running for her country, in the literal sense, since she was in 10th grade.
On Friday, that dream officially became reality as she formally announced that not only has she been accepted into the United States Military Academy at West Point, the student athlete will run both cross country and track.
It was a big, yet emotional, day for for the senior. Ramsey was barely able to thank everyone before breaking down in tears.
"When I walked into the room and saw everyone, I just love them so much, and I felt the love they had for me," Ramsey said after the ceremony.
It was an emotional day for all in attendance.
"This is the day that our dream has come true for our daughter, Ramsey," said her mother, Kathy Wagner. "I am so grateful for St. Patrick for providing the platform for this dream to come true for us."
Acceptance to the academy wasn't easy in - it was twice as hard. Not only did she have to pass the athletic entrance mandates, Ramsey also had to pass the same qualifications of any candidate.
Admission rates to West Point are less than 1 percent of those who apply. Ramsey received appointments from Sen. Thad Cochran and Rep. Stephen Palazzo.
Ramsey earned her spot the the hard way, practicing every morning with her conditioning coach and every afternoon with her track coach.
Trainer Nolan Halliburton says her commitment is 100 percent.
"That's why she's going where she's going," said Halliburton.
Track coach Tim McDaniel added, "She's showing you what's capable of anybody if they go and put forth the effort and put that much into a sport."
Ramsey is a five-time gold medal winner in the state track meet, and is the defending state champion in cross country and long-distance track.
"This is the most amazing day in our lives," said Ramsey's father, Clay Wagner. "This is a dream this young lady's had since she was in 10th grade. She's worked her rear-end off to get there, and today's the fruition of it."
The same commitment is also in academics, with a 4.0 GPA and multi-year commitments to community service and leadership roles.
"It's hard to say goodbye, but I'm so excited for my future."