Dreams of attending a military school is closer to being fulfilled for 42 Utahns. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has announced nominations to the four U.S. military academies.

The students, who will graduate from high school this spring or have already graduated, represent the top of their class. They come from 11 counties in the state.Hatch said these young men and women were nominated because of a desire to serve their country and their strong performance in academics, athletics, and citizenship. The nominees must now compete for a limited number of appointments to either the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.; the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y.; and the Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. The selection for actual enrollment to the schools is in the hands of each academy.

"The qualifications of these 42 students are impressive, and their desire to give something back to this great country of ours is exciting" said Hatch. "I'm proud to recommend each one of them to the academies to help them achieve their educational and personal goals and to prepare this nation with a quality military."

Listed by county, the nominees are:

Beaver: John Alton Webster, Beaver, Beaver High School, Air Force renomination.

Box Elder: Ralph Lowell Coleman III, Brigham City, Box Elder High School, Merchant Marine.

Davis: James Matthew Gourde, Bountiful, Judge Memorial High School, Air Force; Jeffry Thomas Hanson, Layton, Layton High School, Merchant Marine; Aaron Myron Hendrick, Bountiful, Woods Cross High School, Air Force; John Jacob Murdock, Bountiful, Air Force; Daniel Allan Nowicki, Bountiful, Woods Cross High School, Air Force; Shane Hart Rawlings, Bountiful, Woods Cross High School, Air Force; Cristi M. Stephensen, Clinton, Clearfield High School, Merchant Marine.

Juab: Travis LaVerl Harris, Trout Creek, West Desert, Merchant Marine.

Kane: Julie Ann Tait, Orderville, Valley High School, Merchant Marine.

Salt Lake:

Air Force: Shad D. Bowers, Salt Lake City, Granite High School; Christopher Gregory Bown, Salt Lake City, Hillcrest High School; Craig H. Hall Jr., West Valley City, Taylorsville High School; Andrew L. Mecham, Sandy, Jordan High School; Mark Edwin Neff, Sandy, Alta High School; Daniel Job Pingree, Salt Lake City, Brigham Young University; Jennifer Ann Rollins, Salt Lake City, Brighton High School.

Merchant Marine: Mark Lee, Salt Lake City, West High School; Aaron Reid Montgomery, Sandy, Hillcrest High School; Steffanie Elaine Smith, Salt Lake City, Judge Memorial High School; Victor Paul Steinfeldt, West Jordan, West Jordan High School.

U.S. Military: Russell Keith Cannon, Salt Lake City, East High School; Edward Lee Garner, Salt Lake City, Cottonwood High School; Newel Thorley Jensen, Salt Lake City, Cottonwood High School; Stephen Everett Lilly, Kearns, Kearns High School; Steve Todd Marchant, Salt Lake City, Granite High School & Military Academy Prep School; Richard Francis Smith, West Valley City, Cyprus High School; Jacob D. Talbot, South Jordan, Bingham High School; John Lloyd Vigil, Midvale, Hillcrest High School.

San Juan: Carl Dain Allred, Monticello, Monticello High School, Air Force

Summit: Crissie Dawn Fitzgerald, Kamas, South Summit High School, Merchant Marine.

Utah: Bryan William Dickson, Highland, American Fork High School, Air Force; Charolette Deane Iverson, Pleasant Grove, Pleasant Grove High School, Air Force; Matthew Ryan Jolley, Provo, Timpview High School, Air Force; Daniel Vaiokema Kinikini Jr., Spanish Fork, Military Academy & Rick's College, U.S. Military; James McIntosh, Orem, Orem High School, Air Force; Kevin Christopher Saatkamp, Orem, Mountain View High School, Merchant Marine;

Washington: Eric James Thorley, St. George, Dixie High School, Air Force renomination; Jason David Whipple, Santa Clara, Dixie High School, Merchant Marine.

Weber: Steven Wayne Peterson, Hooper, Roy High School, Merchant Marine; Casey Orson Stewart, Ogden, Ogden High School, Air Force.