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    Competition week at US Army Trials kicks off with cycling competition

    Competition week at US Army Trials kicks off with cycling competition

    Courtesy Photo | Athletes in the cycling competition at the U.S. Army Trials pedal toward the finish...... read more read more

    FORT BLISS, TX, UNITED STATES

    03.30.2015

    Courtesy Story

    U.S. Army Warrior Care and Transition

    By Marlon Martin and Ronald W. Wolf
    Army Medical Command

    After a week of training and instructions from coaches, team building and bonding, the athletes finally got down to the task at hand -- competing to demonstrate who will be selected to represent Team Army at the Department of Defense Warrior Games 2015.

    The Warrior Transition Command is conducting the 2015 U.S. Army Trials, March 29 – April 2, hosted by Fort Bliss, Texas. About 80 wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and Veterans from across the country are competing for a spot on the Army Team. The Department of Defense Warrior Games will be held June 19-28 at Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia.

    The first competition of the Army Trials was cycling on a course of slightly more than 10 kilometers on paved surfaces through the desert of Fort Bliss.

    “The event was very professionally conducted, and it looked as good as any civilian event all the way up to the pro level,” said Sgt. 1st Class Keoki Smythe, Warrior Transition Command Adaptive Reconditioning noncommissioned officer charge.

    The drive to compete was high among the athletes. They were supported in the staging area by coaches, other athletes and the USO; the USO provided water and energy foods such as bananas and granola bars.

    “For a lot of the athletes, this event is very empowering,” Smythe said. “Not only do the athletes get to compete, but they also get mentoring from peers and are able to relate and talk to people who understand their issues and what they’re going through.”

    Top finishers based on time in the upright men’s cycling category were Sgt. Zedrik Pitts, Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Bliss; Sgt. Steven Newton, Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and Veteran Sgt. 1st Class Dean Bissey, Fayetteville, North Carolina. There were 11 competitors, the most highly contested category.

    Top finishers in the women’s upright category were Sgt. 1st Class Katie, Kuiper, Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Sgt. 1st Class Samantha Goldenstein, Walter Reed Warrior Transition Battalion, Bethesda, Maryland; and Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer Royce, Joint Force Training, Los Alamitos, California.

    Top competitors in tandem cyclists were Retired Staff Sgt. Sean Johnson, Aberdeen, South Dakota; Spc. Anthony Atemon, Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Bragg; and Cpl. Mathew Mueller, Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Carson, Colorado.

    Top finisher by time in male recumbent cycling was Chief Warrant Officer 3 Timothy Sifuentes, Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Riley, Kansas; retired Staff Sgt. Thomas Ayers, Cobb County, Georgia; and Staff Sgt. Greg W. Quarles, Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Benning, Georgia. The top female recumbent cycling finishers were Capt. Kim Arellano, Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Carson; and Spc. Tammy Elrod, Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Recumbent cyclists often have back problems and can only cycle in a reclining position.
    In the male hand cyclist category, top finishers were Staff Sgt. Joshua Palmer, Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Sgt. Max Hasson, Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Carson; and Sgt. Stefan Leroy, Walter Reed Warrior Transition Battalion, Bethesda, Maryland. Staff Sgt. Monica Martinez, Walter Reed Warrior Transition Battalion, was the sole female finisher in this category. Hand cyclists usually have little or no use of their legs; the pedals are turned with the hands.

    The top finishers in each category receive a medal for his or her achievement.

    Being a top finisher in one event does not guarantee making the Army team for the Department of Defense Warrior Games 2015. The entire Army team will consist of only 40 members with five alternates. They will compete in archery, swimming, track and field, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, shooting, and cycling. Each of the Soldiers selected for the Army team will compete in multiple events. Excelling at only one event may not be enough to make the team.

    After the race, the athletes barely had time to catch their breath. There was more training scheduled in the other events for the remainder of the day.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.30.2015
    Date Posted: 03.30.2015 22:47
    Story ID: 158600
    Location: FORT BLISS, TX, US 

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