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Austin Peay State University Ranger Challenge cadets finish first among ROTC teams in Sandhurst relay

April 9, 2019 | Email This Post Print This Post
 

Austin Peay State University (APSU)

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) ROTC Ranger Challenge team arrived in West Point, New York, on Sunday, April 7th, 2019 ready to compete in its first-ever Sandhurst competition.

And by Monday night, the team already claimed a top spot at the starting line.

Austin Peay State University cadet Thomas Porter runs during the relay at West Point, New York. (APSU)

Austin Peay State University cadet Thomas Porter runs during the relay at West Point, New York. (APSU)

The 49 teams who qualified for the Sandhurst competed in a three-person relay Monday afternoon to determine the starting order of the main April 12th-13th competition.

Austin Peay’s cadets finished sixth overall and first among the 16 ROTC teams in the competition. Cadets Wesley Gray, Thomas Porter and Brendan Dickinson represented APSU in the relay.

The team already was motivated. Now, the cadets are proving they can compete.

“They’re pretty motivated, and they think they’re going to do really well, and I do too,” Keith Colman, the team’s coach, said. “They’re real strong. They’ve been training hard for three months now.”

Prestigious Competition Starts On Friday

Austin Peay State University ROTC cadet Kylie Head smiles as she and her teammates propel a Zodiac boat at Liberty Park in Clarksville. (Benny Little, APSU)

Austin Peay State University ROTC cadet Kylie Head smiles as she and her teammates propel a Zodiac boat at Liberty Park in Clarksville. (Benny Little, APSU)

The Sandhurst competition will put teams from throughout the world “to the ultimate test of endurance, leadership and military skills as they compete to earn the title,” according to an Army news release.

Austin Peay’s team also will train Tuesday and Wednesday at West Point’s obstacle course and shooting ranges and get a chance to practice on Zodiac boats, which the team isn’t new to.

“We took advantage of our opportunity being near Fort Campbell to get a Zodiac to get in some practice prior to getting to West Point,” Colman said.

Cadets also are taking part in the Modern War Institute’s Sandhurst Conference in the days leading up to the competition.

APSU team captain Steven Price will receive a briefing about the competition Thursday night, and the competition starts 6:30am EDT Friday. The competition stretches through the night and ends Saturday afternoon.

The challenge requires 11-person teams – nine competitors and two alternates – to carry a minimum of 35 pounds throughout the course, which likely will surpass last year’s 28-mile route.

Austin Peay faces tough competition. Last year’s top five finishing teams return this year: the Air Force Academy team (which claimed the title), the Royal Military College-Canada, Sandhurst Red, University of North Georgia and West Point Gold.

APSU’S Cadets At Sandhurst

The Austin Peay State University Ranger Challenge team poses for a group photo at West Point, New York. (Brian Dunn, APSU)

The Austin Peay State University Ranger Challenge team poses for a group photo at West Point, New York. (Brian Dunn, APSU)

Team captain Steven Price, assistant captain Daniel Cole, Brandon Hagens, Brendan Dickinson, Kylie Head, Walter Higbee, Christina Taylor, Wesley Gray, Thomas Porter, Paul Kearney and Thomas Rose are the 11 Ranger Challenge cadets competing at West Point.

Who’s Competing?

Austin Peay is one of 49 teams competing this year.

  • 14 International Teams: Australia, Thailand, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Greece, Brazil, Japan, Germany, Mexico, Denmark, United Kingdom, Korea and United Kingdom.
  • 16 ROTC Teams: University of Delaware, Florida State University, Creighton University, Central State University, Marquette State University, University of Hawaii, Austin Peay State University, Utah Valley University, California Polytechnic State University, Virginia Military Institute, John Hopkins University, Tarleton State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Lehigh University, University of North Georgia and Ebinboro University.
  • Four service academies: 16 U.S. Military Academy teams, and teams from the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Coast Guard.

 

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