ROTC unit competes in Ranger Buddy Competition
Members of the Bison Battalion Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) competed at the 20th annual Ranger Buddy Competition April 19, hosted by the University of Kansas, Lawrence. NDSU placed sixth among 44 institutions at the competition.
A total of 249 two-person teams registered for the competition that included a 15K Buddy Run, traversing a two-rope bridge, assembling and disassembling an M4 or M16 weapon, first aid and navigation techniques.
According to Lt. Col. Ted M. Preister, professor of military science, a Bison Battalion team of Cadets Catrina Kelm, an NDSU junior majoring in criminal justice, and Abigail Peno, a nursing student at Concordia College, came in second place overall in the female division, which included 19 teams.
“While this was the first time competing for Kelm, Cadet Peno was on the team that took second in the female division in 2013 and on the winning buddy team in the co-ed division in 2012,” Preister said.
“The thing I am amazed by each time I do this competition is how much more a person can accomplish physically and mentally when working as a buddy team, as opposed to working alone,” Peno explained. “A team can only do well if the members work together, encourage each other and use each person’s strengths.”
Preister said three of the five NDSU male teams made the cut after the 15K competition, including the all-freshman team of Cadet Travis Johnson, who is majoring in criminal justice, and Cadet Austin Weigel, an electrical engineering major. They finished the 15K road march with 35-pound backpacks in one hour and 46 minutes.
Cadet Jason Dvorak, an NDSU junior majoring in criminal justice, and Cadet Johanna Wiege, an NDSU senior majoring in landscape architecture, took sixth place in the co-ed division.
“I heard a student talking about how proud they were to have completed an Easter 5K. I could not be prouder of all the Buddy Ranger Challenge Cadets on the team who did three times that to start their day on Saturday, endured six mentally and physically challenging shorter races throughout the day and then did another 4K to round out the competition, all while sacrificing their long weekend,” said Preister.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.