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Midship(wo)man finishes at top of Annapolis

Kristine Holderied was treated as just another student at the US Naval Academy's graduation ceremonies, but it was ''the best day of my life'' for the first woman to graduate at the top of a military academy class. Diplomas were conferred Wednesday on 1,004 graduates here.

At the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Midshipman Holderied was warmly applauded as she led her class across the stage to accept diplomas from Adm. James Watkins, chief of naval operations.

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Ms. Holderied was one of 812 graduates who were sworn in as ensigns in the Navy after the ceremony.

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