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MHS JROTC Raiders make top 10 at nationals

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The Marion High School JROTC Raiders competed this past weekend against the country’s best Army JROTC teams at the Raider National Championship, and both MHS teams finished in the top 10.

MHS fielded both an all-male and an all-female team, which finished 10th and 7th in their respective categories. In addition, two Marion cadets earned accolades for their placements during the Best Raider Competition: seniors Thomas Schenck and Adriana Aleman placed 15th and 25th in the nation, respectively.



Members of the Giants female Raider Team earned the MHS JROTC program their first national trophy at the Raider National Championship in Molena, Ga., Nov. 4-5, 2017. The team placed 7th overall and 5th in the physical team test.

>> click here to view more photos from the competition


During the Best Raider Competition, the cadets run nearly two miles while wearing a 35-pound backpack and negotiating various obstacles, including a 10-foot wall they must scale.

“These young people are amazing,” said Lt. Col. (Retired) David Farlow, the senior Army instructor and coach for the Raider Team. “These results are the culmination of months of hard work and dedication. Our cadets faced off against the best teams from across the country, including many private military academies. The Giants proved that a small program from Marion, Indiana, can compete and win against the best raiders from anywhere.”

Five events comprise the Raider National Championship:
  • 5-kilometer mountain run
  • 1-mile cross country rescue, where cadets wear 35-pound backpacks, carry a stretcher weighing up to 150 pounds, and negotiate various obstacles, including a 10-foot wall they must scale and a 30 feet long mud pit.
  • One-rope bridge crossing nearly 90 feet over a river
  • Physical team test, where cadets run and carry a variety of items while negotiating an 800-meter course with various obstacles
  • The Gauntlet, where the cadets wear 35-pound backpacks and run nearly 1 mile through a wooded terrain while negotiating various obstacles, including a wall they must scale (10 feet tall for the female teams, 12 feet tall for the male teams.
The MHS all-female team earned an impressive 5th place finish in the Physical Team Test, thus earning the Giants their first-ever trophy from a National Championship.

“I am very proud of how well my ladies came together and performed as a unit,” said Aleman, commander of the female Raider team. “You could see us really meld together, relying on each other while learning how to overcome the exhaustion associated with Raider competitions. These Raiders are awesome.”

The 7th-place finish is the highest finish ever for a JROTC team from Marion High School at a national competition.
Cadet Gavin Collins, a sophomore who competed for the first time at Raider Nationals, weighed in on the experience: “It made me feel good to see that all of the hard work we put in paid off. The competition was very hard, but the trip was a lot of fun.”

Many individuals and organizations donated to help the MHS Raider team travel to the championship.

“We simply could not provide the cadets with such an opportunity without the tremendous support from our community and school system,” Farlow said.



Members of the Giants male Raider Team sprint for the finish line at the Raider National Championship in Molena, Ga., Nov. 4-5, 2017. The female team placed 7th in the nation, and the male team placed 10th.

>> Click here to view more photos from the competition


The full list of cadets who competed:

All-female Raiders team:
  • Adriana Aleman
  • Paige Asher
  • Jillayne Bass
  • Audrey Dickerson
  • I'Yela Hornaday
  • Emily LeBlanc
  • Kayleina O'Donnell
  • Haley O'Neil
  • Kylee O'Neil
  • Jessica Pickell
  • Cheyenne Russ
  • Hailey Teeguarden
All-male Raiders team:
  • Eric Asher
  • Gavin Collins
  • Tayler Garriott
  • Joseph O'Donnell
  • Joseph Parker
  • Tyron Rice
  • Lucas Riley
  • Austen Robbins
  • Juan Rodriguez
  • Thomas Schenck
  • Troy Smith
  • Kaleb Starr