South Rowan competes in JROTC Raider Challenge

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 30, 2011

By Maj. Bill Lowe
For The Salisbury Post
On Nov. 5, the South Rowan High School JROTC Raider Challenge Team competed in the Raider Challenge Nationals, held at the Gerald Lawhorn Scouting Base, near Molena, Ga.
Twenty-seven Junior ROTC teams from Army and Marine Corps programs around the nation faced off over five physically demanding events. The competition was intense and was conducted over extremely hilly terrain, which added further in ensuring all team members would remember this competition for many years to come.
Cadets did all the push-ups they could in two minutes, followed immediately by doing all the sit-ups they could perform in two minutes. With no more than five minutes of rest, the 10-cadet team began a second event that consisted of a five kilometer race over both road and wooded trails. Team members had to stay together and finish within 10 yards of each other.
Other events included a one and a half mile race with six cadets carrying rucksacks weighing 35 pounds each and a field litter/stretcher with a 95 pound attached weight to represent an injured person. At the conclusion of the run, cadets had to pull all equipment under a low crawl obstacle, and then get all team members and the six rucksacks over an eight-foot wall.
The most technically challenging event was the single rope bridge whereby cadets had to span a stream/ravine by securing a 150-foot rope to trees on either side and cross all cadets for time. Except for the first and last cadets to cross, all team members had to be attached to the rope bridge by snap link and pull themselves the sixty feet to the opposite stream bank.
Lastly, a Raider Gauntlet run of one mile up the steep side of a mountain with four cadets carrying rucksacks each weighing 35 pounds, turn around at the top of the mountain and race back down. Grueling was the universal feeling among all competitors.
The South Rowan team finished seventh among all 27 teams with a fourth-place finish in the Litter Carry/Cross Country Rescue. The team was the only one competing from North Carolina.
A great time was had by all. The Boy Scout facility was truly outstanding and the experience worth a life-time of memories.
Maj. Bill Lowe is a senior Army instructor for the South Rowan High School JROTC.