The Pioneer Battalion JROTC Raider team competed against 17 other teams over the weekend in Irvine, Ky., and cadets ran, paddled and climbed their way to a second-place finish.
It was a grueling event, according to Warren County High School instructor 1st Sgt. Timothy Howard, that included tests of endurance and strength.
“This is the high school version of Army Rangers,” said Howard. “It requires a lot of physical skills and some of these kids are really fine athletes. Some of them are running six- to seven-minute miles and they’re really meshing well together as a team.”
The 10-cadet team from WCHS which placed second includes members Jacob Baehman (team commander), Bryan Rabideau (assistant team commander), Tommy Juarez, Brooke Valenta, Blake Walker, Abraham Villafuerte, Joe Meekins, Weston Overton, Stephanie Rainey, Breeanne Caldwell, Brady Willis, and Jaden Gannaway.
In earning the second-place overall finish, WCHS placed first in two individual events, and third in a 5K team run.
One of the first-place finishes was in a log physical training challenge that included a 15-foot, 400-pound log. Each team was required to conduct shoulder presses, sit-ups, curls, and squats with the log and also run around a 400-meter track with the log on their shoulders.
WCHS completed this event in 5 minutes, 11 seconds for the win.
“We have our own poles here on campus we use for training,” said Howard. “We’ve been using them quite a bit.”
The Pioneers other top finish was in a navigation challenge that included a 1.5-mile run to a military-style rubber raft, paddling upsteam to retrieve an object, paddling back, then dashing another 1.5 miles to the finish.
Howard said he was impressed by first place in this event because it was the first time for Warren County cadets to do an exercise involving a boat.
The competition also included an obstacle course race laid out over a mountain trail. Obstacles consisted of a six-foot wall, parallel bars, stepping stones, and six vaults.
“These cadets are dedicated,” said Howard. “They train before school from 6 to 7 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They also train after school from 3 to 5 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday. In my 10 years here, this is probably my best team.”
The Pioneer Battalion JROTC Raider team will be competing at seven more meets this year, one of which is the United States Army JROTC Raider Nationals in November. The next meet is Sept. 12 at Clarkrange High School.