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JROTC Raider team excels at nationals
JROTC crawl.jpg
JROTC Raider team senior Olivia Chmielewski crawls under an obstacle on her belly during Ultimate Raider Competition held last Saturday.

Warren County High School’s JROTC Raider team has captured a third-place national finish.

Our local JROTC team finished third in a competition called The Gauntlet, one of several events held last Saturday in Molena, Ga., at the Thunder River Boy Scout Reservaion.

“These are physically demanding competitions,” said Warren County JROTC leader First Sgt. Tim Howard (retired). “We start conditioning for this in the summer, just like football. Sometimes we even hold a summer camp. To finish third in the nation is really a great honor.”

The national competition included five separate events. In addition to The Gauntlet, other events are: 

• physical team test

• building a one-rope bridge to cross a creek

• 5K mountain run

• cross-country rescue

In events like the cross-country rescue, cadets have to carry a 120-pound dummy over a course that’s roughly 1 mile and includes a mud pit. The WCHS team finished in 12:48.

The 5K mountain run is done as a 10-member team with team members running together for the entire route. WCHS finished in 27:12.

Each event features a 10-member team. Each team can bring 12 members to the competition in order to have substitutes as needed if someone gets injured or fatigued.

Warren County’s team features four seniors: Gabriel Rudicel, Olivia Chmielewski, Faith Hasty, and Nathan Jennings. Other Raider members are Thomas Turpin, Antonio Hernandez, Lucas Pescevic, Jacob Cox, Victor McBride, Aiden Betancourt, David Hernandez and River Pescevic.

After that competition was held, two WCHS students participated in the Ultimate Raider Competition held immediately afterward. Normally it’s held on a different day to give participants time to rest, but due to COVID concerns the entire event was held on one day this year. 

WCHS seniors Gabriel Rudicel and Olivia Chmielewski both competed individually in the Ultimate Raider Competition and performed extremely well, according to First Sgt. Howard. In addition to the above-mentioned seniors, Howard also wanted to recognize senior Juan Garcia.