ISU Army ROTC reaches success at Ranger Buddy Challenge


Buddy Ranger Rope

By Paul Ehrsam

ISU Army ROTC proved once again that they strive to be one of the top programs in the country by having several teams finish in the top percentile of the Ranger Buddy Challenge last weekend.

The Ranger Buddy Challenge is a rigorous training competition held at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.

Army cadets compete in several challenges throughout the day, putting both their physical and mental abilities to the test. It took place at the University of Kansas on April 20, 2013.

Iowa State finished fourth overall at the competition with only three points separating first and fourth place. The scores of the school’s top teams in each category are taken and averaged together.

Iowa State cadets Brandon Amerine, senior in management, and Jason Sadowski, sophomore in finance, were Iowa State’s top finishers with sixth place overall in the all-male category.

“Our training kind of gears us towards this all year, and basically just for this competition it was more mental and your buddy had to help you through because we were all physically fit and were prepared for what was going on, but you and your buddy just have to keep pushing yourself,” Sadowski said.

Around 180 teams from different schools and programs across the country came to the Ranger Buddy Challenge, but new to this year’s competition was “the cut.”

The competition started out with a 15k (9.3 mile) ruck march in full gear. Out of the 180 teams only 125 moved on to the rest of the competition. Every Iowa State team made it past the cut.

The first 90 male teams, the first 20 coed teams, and the first 15 female teams to finish the road march moved on. After they finished the ruck march they had 25 more events waiting for them.

Iowa State also had an all-female team finish near the top of their category. Megan Ripperger, junior in dietetics, and Nicole Donato, sophomore in kinesiology and health, placed seventh overall in the all-female category. They are already looking to next year and how they can improve.

“We did well and are very proud of how did, but we’re looking forward to next year and hopefully we’ll bring home one of the top three slots for the females,” Ripperger said.

The ISU team finishes solidified the fact that the ISU Army ROTC program is one of the top programs in the country, Sadowski said.

“It shows that the program does very well and we are well-trained and know what we are doing and that we’ll succeed later on,” Sadowski said. “We always strive to be the best and do the best and I feel we can do even better next year.”