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MHS JROTC Raider Team best in the region

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The Marion High School JROTC Raider Team demonstrated in two regional competitions in as many weeks that they are the truly best Raider Team in the Midwest.

The Giants soundly defeated 15 other teams at the Marion Raider Challenge held here at Marion High School on April 22, and again beat another 10 teams from Michigan during Saturday’s Raider competition held in Wayne, Mich. Earlier this academic year the Raiders placed 8th during the Raider National Championship in Molena, Ga.

Marion High School JROTC varsity Raider Team members Joey Lawrence, Joseph O’Donnell, Chelsea Townsend, Eric Asher, and Tyron Rice finish the 2-mile “Ruck Run” during the Raider competition held at Wayne, Mich., on April 29, 2017. The Giants finished the run in 16:53 while wearing 30-pound backpacks. The Giants won first place overall at the Raider competition, defeating 10 other teams.

“This is clearly the best Raider Team we have had since the program began six years ago,” said retired Lt. Col. David Farlow, the senior Army instructor and team coach. “We have progressively improved every year and have the championship placements to prove it. These Cadet Raiders are simply hard-core tough.”

Sixteen teams from five states competed at the recent Marion Raider Challenge hosted by the Giants. At the end of the day, the Marion varsity Raiders earned first place finishes in seven of the 10 events, second place in another two events and third place in the last event, thus easily taking first place over all. No other school even came close.

At the Michigan competition, the Giants earned three first place finishes and four second place finishes, thus defeating all the other teams.

The Giants also earned several individual accolades at the Michigan competition. Cadets Adriana Aleman and Chelsea Townsend earned the first and second place female fitness awards, and Joseph O’Donnell earned the top male fitness award.

“I am so proud of our team,” said senior Joey Lawrence, the Raider team commander. “We have really been training hard. We got it together when we needed to. Our teamwork was fantastic!”

Raider competitions are grueling and designed to push cadets to their physical limits while challenging their ability to work as a team. The co-ed team runs multiple miles with heavy backpacks, constructs one-rope bridges, climbs obstacles, carries rescue litters, and completes other physically challenging events that continue on for several hours. At the end of the competition, the cadets are exhausted.

Cadets Aleman, Townsend, and O’Donnell earned their fitness awards by scoring high in the 1-mile run and the push-up/sit- up events. They performed these events after having run two miles with 30 lbs. back packs, and then running another mile while carrying a 100-pound litter and wearing 30-pound backpacks.

“Raider competitions are not like a basketball or football game that last for about an hour,” Farlow said. “At a Raider competition the cadets will compete for five to six hours doing multiple events back-to-back. And most of the events require strength, endurance and teamwork. These cadets are in top physical shape.”
Because of that effort, the awards earned are that much more meaningful.

“I was so happy to finally place in the fitness event,” Townsend said. “I have been a Raider for four years, and I finally placed in the last competition of my senior year. It has been awesome to be a Raider.”

Marion High School JROTC JV Raider Team cadets Paige Asher, Jerit Wigner, Jade McKoon and Ashley White cross the one-rope bridge during the Marion Raider Challenge on April 22, 2017, at MHS. The JV team placed third and the MHS JROTC varsity team earned first place from among the 16 teams from five states that entered the competition.