News: Soldiers take fitness to limit in Dragoon Games
Story by Staff Sgt. Scott Tynes
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Ten contestants from throughout Regional Command – South (RC-S) tested their physical limits through a fitness challenge in the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division’s Dragoon Games here March 24, 2013.
Contestants for the fitness challenge were given an exercise plan six weeks prior to the competition to become familiar with the exercises and prepare for the games. Several events were held at locations throughout RC-S to narrow down the field to ten contestants, the top five males and females in the brigade.
“Getting here was an achievement in itself because they defeated or beat out 13 other females and 70-something males to get here,” said brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Oscar Vinson.
Task Force Angry Vikings and the 212th Field Artillery ruled the day with both the male and female winners coming from their ranks.
Capt. Erich Roberts of Pine Mountain, Ga., posted a perfect score of 60 points to be named the “Fittest Male Dragoon” while 1st Lt. Christina Rath of Easton, Pa., led the women with 54 points for the “Fittest Female Dragoon” title.
“I placed first in the preliminaries, but we had some very strong athletes who brought their A game,” Roberts said. “It was a matter of inches.”
The contestants struggled through six grueling events in 12 hours under the broiling Afghanistan sun. Contestants had one hour to rest between events. Events were timed and points were scaled based on placement. The first place finisher for each event received 10 points with last place receiving four.
The day began at 6 a.m. with a 4.1-mile run. Contestants were told the length of the run and did not know the course until lining up for the race.
“That’s part of the gamesmanship – pacing yourself for the competition,” said Capt. Tristan Manning, commander of C Company, 702nd Brigade Support Battalion, which hosted the competition. “They don’t know what’s next or what’s going to be required of them.”
The next event featured five rounds of several repetitions of the Turkish get-up, kettlebell swings and toes-to-bar.
The third event was a round-robin of push-press lifts of 75 lbs. for males and 55 lbs. for females, the rower, wall ball, high-pull lifts at the same weight and box jumps.
Other events featured a dead lift; round-robin of burpees to pull-ups, kettlebell snatches and several farmer’s carries down a 70-meter lane and ended with an event that included tire pulls, tire flips and burpees.
“It was pretty tough,” Rath said. “We didn’t really know what to expect next.”
Sgt. Nicholas Wohlers of Company C, 702nd BSB, agreed that it was an extremely demanding day, but he was proud to have been a part of it.
“The competitors today were so fun to work with,” the Sheridan, Wyo., native said. “It made this an incredible day and I’m really glad I had the opportunity to meet and compete with every one of these gentlemen.”
Lt. Col. Scot Doboszenski, commander of the 702nd BSB, said he was proud of all the competitors across the brigade who competed to be a part of the Dragoon Games.
“I think it’s been a phenomenal success,” he said. “I’m really glad we were able to pull this off because this does so much for soldiers. It keeps them physically fit because they are working up to the program; and it’s affected so many folks across the formation.”
Date Posted:03.27.2013 06:33
Location:KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, AF
Hometown:ALLEN, TX, US
Hometown:AUSTIN, TX, US
Hometown:EASTON, PA, US
Hometown:NEW YORK, NY, US
Hometown:PINE MOUNTAIN, GA, US
Hometown:SHERIDAN, WY, US