COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.- Nearing the final events of the 2013 Warrior Games, the Marine team has earned more than 30 medals, pushing them one step closer toward reclaiming the Chairman’s Cup--now commonly known as the “Commandant’s Cup.”
The Marine track and field team medaled in nearly all events during the meet aboard the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 14, 2013. The team is competing in other events including cycling, archery, swimming, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and shooting.
“The 50 Marine athletes we brought out here are the best of their generation, and they are showing it in every event,” said Col. Willard Buhl, the commanding officer of the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment. “They’re kicking butt and taking names while making the Corps proud.”
The Marines finished in the top three of almost every event, and taking first and second place seemed to come as second nature to Cpl. Ivan Sears, with Wounded Warrior Battalion East, and veteran Sgt. Anthony McDaniel.
“We made a promise to each other that no matter what, we were going to finish first and second on the racing events we had together,” said McDaniel, 25, from Pascagoula, Miss. “It was just like we practice. We race together, we win together.”
With the help of McDaniel, Sears, and several other Marine athletes, the team is one step closer to to a fourth championship title.
McDaniel won gold medals in the 100m and 200m wheelchair competitions. He also won a sliver medal in the 1500m wheelchair competition.
Sears, from San Antonio, won a gold medal in the 1500m wheelchair competition and silver in the 100m and 200m wheelchair competitions.
Marine veteran Capt. Derek Liu, from Fullerton, Calif., took home gold in the visually impaired 100m, 200m and 1500m competitions. Liu, 31, from Fullerton, Calif., also won a bronze medal in visually impaired shot put.
Cpl. Kidisti Averill, with Wounded Warrior Battalion West, beat out the Army in a close 1500m competition to take home the gold. Averill, 22, from Springs, N.Y., also won bronze medals in the women’s open 100m and 200m.
Marine veteran Cpl. Manny Jimenez, from New Britain, Conn., placed first in the 1500m upper body disability competition and veteran Sgt. Brian McPherson took first in the 1500m open competition.
Cpl. Kyle Reid, from Chinook, Mont., and with Wounded Warrior Battalion West, finished second in the 100m open competition.
The Marines still have tough competition ahead of them as they compete in swimming, archery, seated volleyball and the most anticipated, wheelchair basketball.