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News for Marion High School

Giants dominate Midwest regional competition

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Blood, sweat and tears were on display Saturday at the Marion High School athletic complex as seventeen JROTC Raider Teams from across the Midwest gathered for the annual competition.  The Giants sought to continue their five-year undefeated winning streak while taking on teams from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of the day, no other team came close to defeating the Marion Raider team.

Marion High School JROTC cadets carry a 120-pound litter while competing at the annual MHS Raider Challenge on April 28. The Giants easily defeated 16 other teams from across the Midwest to win the competition.

Battling it out in 10 different events, the Giants nearly swept the competition by earning nine first-place finishes, easily taking first place overall in the competition. The Giant’s varsity team sweep of all the competitive events was only prevented by their own junior varsity team taking a first place spot in one event.

“We did fantastic! We crushed the entire competition,” said MHS senior Thomas Schenck, the Giants’ Raider Team Commander. “We really trained hard for this competition. Everyone knew what was at stake and the need to win on our home field. I am so proud of how we performed together. I could not have asked for a better team to lead.”

Raider competitions are grueling and designed to push cadets to their physical limits while challenging their ability to work as a team. Unlike a basketball or football game that last for about an hour, Raider competitions go on for five to six hours, requiring cadets to complete multiple events back to back. The co-ed teams run multiple miles with heavy backpacks, construct and traverse one-rope bridges, climb obstacles, carry rescue litters, and complete other physically challenging events. At the end of the competition, the cadets are exhausted.

“I think the record of our performance this year testifies that we are in fact the best Raider team in the Midwest,” said retired Lt. Col. David Farlow, the Raider team coach and the JROTC program senior Army instructor. “We are the Indiana state champions. At the national championship, our girls team finished seventh, and our boys team 10th. And we just soundly defeated other teams within our region. It is a credit to our great cadet Raiders.”

MHS JROTC varsity Raider team members carry fellow cadets during the buddy carry event at the annual MHS Raider Challenge.

Several members of the winning Giants team are graduating seniors. Adriana Aleman, one of those seniors, talked about what the win at home in their final competition meant.

“Everything built up to this moment,” she said. “To decisively win at home in my last Raider competition ever is a great way to leave as a senior.”

Fellow senior Joseph O’Donnell reflected on their four years on the Raider team.

“There are no words to express what it was like to be a Raider over the past four years,” he said. “We have continued to get better and better. So this final win at home is very special.”

MHS JROTC cadets Juan Rodriguez and Audrey Dickerson run with heavy tires during the MHS Raider Challenge.