SAIPAN, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS -- Last Saturday on December 14, 2019, five dedicated and valiant teams gathered at Marianas High School and participated in the first annual Extreme Raider Challenge hosted by Marianas High School’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Dolphin Battalion.
The five teams that competed included: Sergeant’s Angels (MHS), Coconut Krew (MHS), The Howling Coconuts (MHS), PowerPuffs (MHS), and the A Team (KHS). Four additional teams from Tinian Junior Senior High School which included: Team Stallions, Team Omega, Team Alphaquarters, and Team Apex, did the Extreme Raider Challenge on December 9 without going to Marianas High School. Their scores were then sent to Saipan for judging.
Sergeant’s Angels included: Cadet First Sergeant John Dimalanta, Cadet Captain John Laborce, Cadet Captain Zachary Leon Guerrero, Cadet First Sergeant Mark Maestro, Cadet Captain Tyrell Ngewakl, Cadet Captain Kelvin Ordonez, Cadet Major David Pasion, and Cadet Private Jeffrey Seo.
Coconut Krew included: Cadet Captain Kaywin Aguon, Cadet Staff Sergeant Brandon Malari, Cadet Private First Class Anthony Villagomez, Cadet Private Jhon Loyola, Cadet Command Sergeant Major Matthew Candare, Cadet Second Lieutenant Jace Songsong, Cadet Private Allan Arcega, and Cadet Private Neo Skerei.
The Howling Coconuts included: Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Daryll De Luna, Cadet Sergeant Jose Reyes, Cadet First Lieutenant Joan Repoberbio, Cadet Captain Christine Quebral, Cadet Corporal Uriel Woodruff, Cadet Sergeant First Class Teody Valenzuela, Cadet Private Jeorom Teigita, Cadet Sergeant First Class Lawrence Salamat.
Powerpuffs included: Cadet Captain Maria Sablan, Cadet Major Mariah Ashley De Torres Gapasin, Cadet Sergeant First Class Nelson Battalones, Cadet Private Elijah Aguon, Cadet Private Bengee Berdan, Cadet Private John Ruiz, Cadet Second Lieutenant Mark Mateo, Cadet Private Conall Hartig, and Cadet Sergeant First Class Denzel Gatbonton.
The A Team included: Cadet Sergeant First Class Anthony Agulto, Cadet Command Sergeant Major Nolan Gatharngeg, Second Lieutenant Aaliyah Indalecio, Cadet Captain Raymond Indalecio, Cadet Corporal Andres Muna, Cadet Lieutenant Colonol Aira Ngalongalo, Cadet Corporal Ryan Santos, and Cadet Captain Nathan Villagomez.
The Extreme Raider Challenge is a multitude of strenuous physical fitness events with the goal of completing events as fast as the teams could. The events included the Assault Beach Run, the Humvee Pull, the Team Pull Up, the Litter Carry, and the Relay Race. The teams were dressed in their Army Combat Uniforms (ACU) and were able to choose which event they wanted to complete first, with the exception that only one team could be occupying one event course.
The Assault Beach Run event required the teams to run approximately one mile on the beach starting from behind the Shack moving North, then running back to the starting line. The teams ran while carrying four rucksacks filled with 20 pounds of sand.
The Humvee Pull event required the teams to pull a Humvee forty yards from Point A to Point B. The teams were allowed to push the Humvee.
The Team Pull Up required the teams to do as many proper pull ups as they could do. The team was allowed to assist the team member completing the event by raising their feet while their legs were bent. A twist about this event was that the team was allowed to use as many of pull up bars as they wanted to rack up more points.
The Litter Carry event required the teams to carry a 140 pound ACU and their guidon 120 yards through an obstacle course. If the guidon or ACU fell during the event, the team completing the event would have their points deducted.
The Relay Race was the final event where all teams gathered. Two teams paired up within themselves and competed to determine which team could complete the Relay Race course the fastest. The Relay Race consisted of various challenges such as tire-flipping, carrying two 20-liter water containers, carrying their partner and doing such in reverse to return to the starting line and have the next pair take on the Relay Race.
After all of the events were completed, the teams congregated for the awarding ceremony. The Best Male Team was awarded to Marianas High School’s Coconut Krew. The Best Co-ed Team was awarded to Kagman High School’s A Team.
When the teams were asked what they thought the most difficult event was, the usual answer was the Beach Assault Run. Cadet Major Mariah Ashley De Torres Gapasin stated, “The most difficult part was the beach run because it was in the sand, and the boots we were wearing were heavy, so it makes it more difficult under the hot sun.”
The Extreme Raider Challenge was coordinated by the Dolphin Battalion's Army Instructor, Sergeant First Class Albert Lujan. He said, “I had some reserved thoughts at the beginning, not knowing how it was actually going to turn out. But the result was great.” Sergeant First Class Albert Lujan gives a special thanks to the Army Reserves from 302nd QM Company and Co. E 442nd INF for grading the Raider Teams, Joeten Susupe for supplying the competition with drinks, and AAFES Troop Store for donating wooden pallets.
Needless to say, the first annual Extreme Raider Challenge did more than test the Raiders’ physical capabilities. It required teamwork, dedication, critical thinking skills, and a healthy mentality. Captain James Burke, Senior Army Instructor of Kagman High School’s Ayuyu Battalion, stated, “All events were challenging, and required teamwork and leadership to negotiate those obstacles.”
A wholesome congratulations goes out to the teams who displayed outstanding teamwork determination, fitness, and sportsmanship during the competition. Their training prior to the competition, as well as their dedication is what took them to great heights.
Raider challenge is not a thing of the past as it helps train and guide cadets into understanding the value of teamwork. Each team is dependent on each other and every member sees and realizes how critical the total team effort is worked. These cadets are true leaders of MHS, KHS and the future of our society.