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The WCHS Pioneer Battalion Raider team captured second place overall out of 10 teams at a competition last weekend at Station Camp High School. Pictured, front row, from left are seniors Faith Hasty, Nathan Jennings, Gabriel Rudicel, Juan Garcia, and Olivia Chmielewski. Second row, Ayslin Fletcher, Elexia Byars, Antonio Hernandez, River Pescevic, Aiden Betancourt, Hope Hasty, Adira De La Cruz, and Thomas Turpin. Third row, Shayna Toro, Jaylynn DeSantiago, Dylan Hutchings, Cole Pendergraph, Johnathan Cox, David Hernandez, and Jacob Cox. Back row, Anthony Thornton, Johnathan Bond, Lucas Pescevic, Alan Hernandez, and Victor McBride.

Members of the Pioneer Battalion Raider Team ran, climbed, and crawled their way to a second-place finish last weekend at Station Camp High School in Hendersonville.

The Warren County High School team was second out of 10 teams last Saturday in what was their final competition of the season.

Raider meets are physically demanding. Participants are faced with challenges such as scaling a wall and crossing a river on a rope. Local team members have been training since July to prepare for the rigors of this type of competition.

“No matter what I put them through, they have stuck with it and they’ve always shown up,” said 1st Sgt. Tim Howard (retired), who leads Warren County’s JROTC program. “This year with COVID has been pretty unique and we have not been able to go to as many competitions. We’ve been training since July really to go nowhere. We went to Raider Nationals in February and we went to Station Camp so really we’ve only competed twice this year. I’m really proud of the whole team and how they approached this knowing there wouldn’t be as many competitions.”

In earning a second-place overall finish at Station Camp, the Pioneer team captured first place in two individual events and second place in three:

1st place – Strength Test

1st place – Tire Stacker

2nd place – Ruck Run

2nd place – Stretcher Relay

2nd place – Obstacle Course

Howard said the Tire Stacker event involved stacking five heavy tractor trailer tires. He said the Strength Test involved three separate challenges rolled into one event: 1) flipping large tires, 2) carrying heavy equipment from point A to point B, and 3) pulling heavy tires with a rope.

The Ruck Run was a timed race on a course featuring rough terrain. The Stretcher Relay involved five, two-person teams carrying a 120-pound stretcher. The Obstacle Course included scaling a wooden wall.

The Station Camp competition was gratifying, 1st Sgt. Howard said, because the Pioneer Battalion finished second, just one point from first place. But it was also sad, he said, because, “It was our last competition of the season and they’ve already turned in their gear.”