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Cardinal Battalion Ranger Challenge Team successfully defends title

by Second Lt. Page Clayton last modified Nov 05, 2009 11:46 AM

The University of Louisville Cardinal Battalion Ranger Challenge team successfully defended its champion title Oct. 24 at the 7th BDE Ranger Challenge Competition at Ft. Knox.

The Cardinal Battalion also fielded an all-female Ranger Challenge team for the first time. The "Pink Lady Rangers" came in third in the women's division.

Ranger Challenge is the "varsity sport" of Army ROTC. It includes demanding physical events as well as testing for infantry skills essential to an Army officer.

The grueling, 22-hour competition began at 4:15 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, and concluded at 2 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 25.

Cadets competed in nine events, beginning with the Army physical fitness test consisting of push-ups, sit-ups and a two-mile run.

Other events included

  • basic rifle marksmanship with M-16-A2 rifles, weapons assembly and disassembly
  • the hand grenade assault course, where cadets had to hit objectives 25-50 meters away
  • one-rope bridge, which required cadets to create a bridge and cross a 60-foot stream using only one rope
  • orienteering (land navigation) an obstacle course
  • terrain feature identification
  • 10K rucksack march with a 35-pound rucksack, weapons and other equipment

"I am very proud of the team. They were motivated, had heart and they won it - all they needed was direction and purpose. None of them have a quit in their bones," said Sgt. 1st Class Glenn East who has coached the team for two years.

"Cohesion" separated the Cardinal battalion from the other schools, noted men's team captain Jordan Shontz.

Besides Shontz, the men's team members included seniors Colin Davis, Tommy Vollmar, and Cadet Battalion Commander Galo Naranjo; juniors Eliha Hoagland and Samuel Edwards; and sophomores Charlie Hahne and Ryan Speight.

The "Pink Lady Rangers" team included seniors Paige Young (team captain) and Amanda Cooper; juniors Nicole Thomas and Annie Davis; sophomore Shez Hardin; and freshmen Jacqueline Pence, Megan Smith, Carly Townsend and MacKenzie Stephens.

A total of 48 schools from Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio competed. The Ranger Challenge team came in first for the second year in a row, outperforming such universities as Ohio State, Notre Dame and the University of Tennessee.

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