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Marion cadets win JROTC Raider State Championship

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion High School JROTC Raiders battled 13 other teams, the oppressive heat, and eight grueling competitive events last Saturday at Camp Atterbury to win the Indiana State JROTC Raider Championship.

MHS JROTC cadets compete in the JROTC Raider State Championship on Sept. 23 at Camp Atterbury.

The competition, hosted by the Indiana Army National Guard, pitted the best Raider teams from across the state in a series of physically demanding events designed to test the strength, stamina and teamwork abilities of the competing cadets. At the end of the competition, Marion’s varsity team dominated all other teams by placing first in six of the events and third in the remaining two events.

“This competition demonstrated to everyone that the Marion Giants are without question the best Raider team in the state,” said retired Lt. Col. David Farlow, the Giants’ coach. “Not only did our cadets win, but they won decisively, with no other team even coming close to their level of performance.”

Each 10-person Raider team representing JROTC programs from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps from across the state competed in the following events:

• 1-mile cross country run
• 1-mile run with 25-pound backpacks
• ½-mile litter carry (weighing 100 pounds) with weighted backpacks and ammo cans
• Buddy carry for 10 minutes
• Fitness test (90 seconds of pushups and 90 seconds of sit-ups)
• Military obstacle course
• 1-rope bridge construction and crossing
• Terrible tires (moving 25 car tires, five truck tires and two tractor tires 150 yards for time)

MHS JROTC cadets compete in the obstacle course at the Raider State Championship on Sept. 23 at Camp Atterbury.

“It was a very rewarding experience to win the first Raider Championship,” said Thomas Schenck, Marion High School senior and Marion’s Raider team captain. “My team has been training intensely since the beginning of the season. So to go on and crush the other teams all day long was very rewarding for our team and me. I hope we can continue this level of performance for the rest of the season.”

As the competition continued throughout the day and temperatures rose, fatigue set in on many of the teams. After nearly two straight hours of competitive events, Marion’s varsity team rotated to the fitness test, where the Giants proved they were the strongest team. The eight cadets achieved a score of nearly 300 more repetitions than their closest competitors.

Marion seniors Joseph O’Donnell and Adriana Aleman cranked out the highest number of repetitions for the males and females respectively. Teammate Audrey Dickerson, an MHS junior, earned the second highest female score by finishing only one point behind Aleman.

“It was really great to see that all our hard work as a team paid off,” Aleman said. “It was also great to see my personal hard work validated by winning the top female fitness score.”

Adriana Aleman competes in the fitness challenge at the JROTC Raider State Championship on Sept. 23 at Camp Atterbury. She earned first place in the female category.

But Marion’s domination at the competition did not end with their varisty team. Marion’s JV team finished in third place overall, defeating most of the varsity teams present at the competition.

“It feels amazing that we can go out and beat the varisy team from 12 other schools,” said Kaleb Starr, MHS sophomore and member of the Marion JV team. “It shows the strength of our Raider program.”

The Giants have several upcoming regional competitions yet this fall. Their season will culminate the first weekend in November when they compete against the best teams from across the country at the JROTC Raider National Championship in Molena, Ga. Last year the Giants placed eighth in the nation at this competition.

Other members of Marion’s state championship team were Eric Asher, Tayler Garriott, Tyron Rice, Gavin Collins, Troy Smith, and Haley O’Neil.

Individuals and organizations interested in helping to sponsor the Raider Team’s trip to the National Championship should contact the Marion High School JROTC at 765-664-9051 x. 2455.

Haley O'Neil competes during the JROTC Raider State Championship on Sept. 23 at Camp Atterbury.