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Marion High School JROTC cadets earn best small school title at the Raiders National Championship

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November 08, 2018
Photo caption:
The Marion High School JROTC Raider Team earned the title as the Overall Champions in the Small School category during the Raider National Championship on Nov. 3-4, 2018, in Molena, Ga. The Giants placed fourth overall, defeating numerous larger schools and private military academies.  (Photo provided by Marion Community Schools - click here to view)

The Marion High School JROTC Raiders competed this past weekend against the country’s best Army JROTC teams at the Raider National Championship, and claimed the title of best small school in the nation!

The Giants fielded two co-ed teams at the competition in Molena, Ga. The Giants A Team (varsity) competed in the two-day U.S. Army National Raider Championships and brought home fourth place — the highest placement of any small school team in the competition. The Giants B Team (JV) competed in the one-day All-Service Raider Challenge Championships and came in eighth. The Giants beat many private military academies and larger schools. Nearly 100 schools were competing.
“Oh my gosh! What an amazing effort from our cadets!” said Lt. Col. (Retired) David Farlow, the senior Army instructor and coach for the Raider Team. “These results are the culmination of months of hard work and dedication. Our cadets faced off against the best teams from across the country, including many private military academies. The Giants proved that a small program from Marion, Indiana, can compete and win against the best Raiders from anywhere.”
This is the fourth year the Giants have competed in the Raider Nationals, and each year they have improved their standings in the final rankings.
In addition, two Marion cadets earned accolades for their placements during the Ultimate Raider Competition: senior Audrey Dickerson and junior Tyron Rice placed 21st and 25th in the nation, respectively.
During the Best Raider Competition, the cadets run nearly two miles while wearing a 35-pound backpack and negotiating various obstacles, including a 10-foot wall they must scale.
Five events comprise the Raider National Championship, and the Giants A Team finished in the top 10 in all five!
The events and the Giants A Team’s placement in the 2018 competition were:
  • 5-kilometer mountain run; sixth place
  • 1-mile cross country rescue, where cadets wear 35-pound backpacks, carry a stretcher weighing up to 150 pounds, and negotiate various obstacles, including a 10-foot wall they must scale and a 30 feet long mud pit; fourth place
  • One-rope bridge crossing nearly 90 feet over a river; ninth place
  • Physical team test, where cadets run and carry a variety of items while negotiating an 800-meter course with various obstacles; fifth place
  • The Gauntlet, where the cadets wear 35-pound backpacks and run nearly 1 mile through a wooded terrain while negotiating various obstacles, including a wall they must scale; fourth place
“I am so proud of how both teams competed this year,” said Dickerson, the Raider Team commander. “We continued to improve throughout the season. It was hard work but it was also the mental toughness coming from the heart of each Raider. These Raiders are awesome.”
Another veteran of the competition was already looking ahead.
“I really liked competing and winning this year,” said junior Tayler Garriott, who has for three years at the National Championship. “But next year is my senior year and we have to figure out how to improve to place even higher. That will be tough.”
Many individuals and organizations donated to help the MHS Raider team travel to the championship.
“We simply could not provide the cadets with such an opportunity without the tremendous support from our community and school system,” Farlow said.
The full list of cadets who competed:
A Team: Audrey Dickerson, Juan Rodriguez, DJ Smith, Haley O’Neil, Tyron Rice, Tayler Garriott, Nick Elliott, David Cannon, Josiah Hamilton, I’Yela Hornaday, Kylee O’Neil, Kayleina O’Donnell.
B Team: Cheyenne Russ, Hailey Teeguarden, Jessica Pickell, Emily LeBlanc, Alyssa Townsend, Israel Ibanes, Lucas Riley, Josh Harris, Josh Nacke, Daniel Yancy, Kaleb Starr and Gabe Holland.
Lt. Col. David Farlow
(765) 9051 x2455