KNOB NOSTER — Flipping and dragging 200-pund truck tires, climbing 11-foot walls, running 3.2 miles with military boots and rucksacks, building a one-rope-bridge to cross a 32-degree river was just all in a day’s work for cadets in the TRIAD AFJROTC program Nov. 1 during the National All Service Championships in Molena, Georgia.
A total of 24 cadets formed two teams, an all male team and a co-ed team, competed against 22 and 14 teams, respectively.
After only their second trip to Nationals, and third year in existence as a Raider Team, the team excelled and tied for fifth overall, ranking sixth out of 22 at the competition.
The team earned two trophies out of four events: second place for the Physical Training Test challenge and third place for the Gauntlet.
Coach and TRIAD AFJROTC Instructor SMSgt (Ret.) Randy Johnson explained that the team started its training in August with four day, two hour sessions to build strength, endurance and most importantly, teamwork.
“They come off of summer break out of shape, then over time we work to improve their own physical fitness while we are building them as a team,” Johnson stated. “When we started, we were only four weeks from our first competition, so we worked hard and quickly to get the team ready.”
Johnson started the Radier Team when the Knob Noster School District hired him in 2017 to be one of two instructors in the program.
The first year, one team was fielded.
The team competed in four competitions.
Members of the team said there was work to do after the first year.
“That first year was a wake-up call for all the team members that we needed to get into shape and learn more about competing as a team” Cadet Ethen Albert, Warrensburg High School junior, and the Raider Team commander for the second year, said.
Albert explained how the team needed to learn how to work together in all events.
One of the more difficult events is building a one-rope bridge.
“It takes every member of the team to tie the bridge, stretch the rope to make it taunt, then each one uses a carabiner to pull themselves along the rope,” Albert stated.
The second year, 2018, the team set the goal of competing at Nationals.
To get there, the team competed in five competitions, earning four trophies.
At the end of Nationals, the team ranked 11th out of 22 teams.
Albert stated that this year, 2019, the team set the bar high.
“We were going back to Nationals, were going to place at least fifth and would bring home one event trophy,” he stated.
This year, the team competed in seven competitions, earning 23 trophies, three event medals, tied for fifth at Nationals and brought home two National trophies.
Next year, the team will bring in new team members and start all over again with setting goals and achieving them.