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Archive for Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cadets rise to challenge

ROTC groups from across U.S. test their endurance in Best Ranger Buddy Team contest

April 2, 2011

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They started with a 10k run at 6 a.m., then spent the rest of the day competing in grueling physical challenges before finishing with another 10k run.

Just a fun way to spend the day for the 99 teams of ROTC cadets from colleges across the country competing in Saturday’s 17th annual Best Ranger Buddy Team Competition at Clinton Lake.

There was a lot of huffing and puffing, but it’d be difficult to find any cadets who’d complain about the challenges designed to build stamina and camaraderie.

After running through the “litter carry” portion of the course, where a two-person team carries a 185-pound dummy body up a hill and over obstacles, Marquette University senior Kyle Werner wouldn’t admit to being tired.

“Definitely not,” said Werner enthusiastically between large gasps for oxygen.

Cadet John Bergman, a KU junior, was competing alongside fellow KU cadet Stewart McConnell. The two were aiming to win in the all-male category, which in the end, they did. Before running off to the weapons assembly portion, Bergman, competing for the third straight year with rookie McConnell, said the key to winning was simple.

“Consistency,” Bergman said, explaining that it wasn’t necessary to win every event, but to finish in the top 10 in all seven portions, which also included a hand grenade assault course, knot-tying competition, a mystery event and an obstacle course named the crucible.

Though all the competitors were dressed in matching army fatigues, they wore very small arm patches with their respective school’s mascots, and Golden Gophers, Jayhawks and Wildcats differentiated each team’s alliance.

Werner, sporting the Marquette Golden Eagle patch, said he couldn’t yet name a specific school rival, but after a few events, “that’s in the works.”

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