Clarksville, TN – Five Austin Peay State University (APSU) ROTC cadets recently proved themselves worthy for the Sandhurst military skills competition at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
By excelling at the Xavier University Ranger Challenge competition on February 15th, Cherady Fine, Shawn King, Ian Fearn, Madison Ellis and Jasmine Barrios will join Austin Peay State University’s Ranger Challenge team and prepare for Sandhurst.
They were among eight cadets who competed at Xavier, all with the goal of proving the deserved on the Sandhurst team.
“They all did pretty good, kept a positive attitude and didn’t quit,” said Keith Colman, the team’s coach and a military sciences instructor at APSU. “It was hard to cut a few of them.”
Fine, King, Fearn, Ellis and Barrios will join cadets who’ve already made the team, most of whom competed at Sandhurst last spring.
APSU’s ROTC Ranger Challenge team won the Bold Warrior Challenge in October at Fort Knox, Kentucky, qualifying Austin Peay State University for the second straight year for April’s globally renowned Sandhurst military skills competition at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
The cadets finished 29th at last year’s Sandhurst against the best teams from the U.S. service academies and from academies across the world.
‘We’ve been training our butts off’
Before the Xavier competition, ROTC Cadet Ryan Nanzer said, “We’re using the Xavier competition as an assessment to figure out who we need to bulk up our team for Sandhurst. I honestly think our team is pretty stacked right now.
“We’ve been training our butts off, trying to get in shape. I’m excited to see what happens.”
“From the beginning of the semester, I feel like I’ve been working pretty hard,” said King, who’s studying computer science at Austin Peay State University. “I get a shot at competing at the next level, at Sandhurst. Aside from my studies, that’s top priority right now.”
Added Barrios, a communication major, before the competition: “We’re going to remember that we’re all one team, but at the same time, in the back of our minds, we’ll know our partner is our competition. That’s going to be difficult for me.”
The Ranger Challenge team will compete in a 24-event mini-competition February 29th and March 1st on campus. The mini-competition will mimic Sandhurst and include events such as land navigation, rope bridge and foot march.
To learn more about the APSU ROTC program, go to www.apsu.edu/rotc/.