The UA Army ROTC’s Ranger Challenge Team placed second among 40 universities in the Southeast during the first phase of competition at the Ranger Challenge at Fort Moore in Georgia Sept. 15-16.
The competition started with a 3 a.m. wake up followed by various events throughout the day. The UA squad placed first in the plank event for holding the longest plank position and 6-mile ruck, which consisted of running six miles wearing a 40-pound rucksack and 11-pound vest.
According to Nicholas Wentling, captain of the Ranger Challenge Team, the plank and 6-mile ruck events were the toughest of the competition.
“We trained the plank six days a week, which consisted of holding a plank for four to five minutes, as well as rucking 6-8 miles once a week around campus,” said Wentling. “This prepared us very well and set us up for success to take second place overall.”
Additional rigorous physical fitness assessments included a maximum rep deadlift, 2-mile run, push-ups and weighted shuttle run.
“We have been training for this competition since February, which takes an enormous amount of physical strength and mental fortitude,” said Wentling. “Ultimately, this created a bond among the team and helped us excel throughout the phase one competition. I constantly harp on the fact that the schools with the most discipline will be the schools that move on.”
For the team’s great performance and his exceptional leadership, Wentling received recognition from Major General Curtis Buzzard, commander of Fort Moore.
The UA Army ROTC Ranger Challenge Team consists of Wentling, Andrew Asbury, Alyna Brininger, Makenna DeLuca, Ryan Felgenhauer, John Hart, Ryan Huston, Nathan Leis, Will Murphy, Marc Pettus and Adam Thomas.
With the great showing last month, the Ranger Team advanced to the regional finals that will be held at Fort Moore in January 2024.