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March 24, 2009
Contact: Capt. Steven W. Beard, Army ROTC, (785) 864-1110.

KU Army ROTC to host 15th annual Ranger Buddy Competition on April 4

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas Army ROTC cadets will be among 240 students from across the United States testing themselves to find out just how physically and mentally strong they can be.

Two-person teams from 21 colleges and universities in 11 states will compete at the 15th annual Kansas Army ROTC Ranger Buddy Competition on Saturday, April 4, at the Overlook Park area at Clinton Lake southwest of Lawrence. The contest is a spectator event that is free and open to the public. Cadets on male, female or co-ed teams will go through a series of events as they vie for the title of Best Ranger Buddy Team. They will be scored for their performances, and the team with the best overall time wins.

KU will partner with Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University, the University of North Dakota and the Kansas National Guard to host this year’s event.

“The cadets who take part in this competition do an incredible job,” said Lt. Col. John Basso, KU Army ROTC battalion commander and professor of military science. “They learn reliance on teams to complete tasks. Some cadets may be very athletically gifted, but when paired with a cadet who is skilled in tasks such as disassembling a rifle, can accomplish even greater things.”

Competition will begin at 5:45 a.m. with a ruck march of 10 kilometers, or about 6.25 miles, followed by a five-event round robin, a final event and the awards ceremony scheduled for 6 p.m. Cadets know four of the challenges in advance, but the fifth is kept secret until contestants reach that stage of the contest. Events also change slightly each year, including this year’s final one, a physical fitness test.

“Everything is based on time,” Basso said. “In each of these events, if the cadets make errors, they’ll receive time penalties. The team that works best together will be the winner.”

Already competitors know events will include a weapons challenge in which they must take apart and reassemble an M-16 rifle. A hand grenade assault course will test cadets in throwing grenades at a variety of targets from standard positions. A third competition will require cadets to tie a series of increasingly complex knots in rope, and the fourth event, the crucible, will put cadets through a physically demanding obstacle course through wooded areas and varying topographical landscapes.

Last, the modified physical fitness test will take the normal Army fitness test and up the intensity by having the cadets wear a combat uniform and boots while they conduct pull-ups and run on a two-mile uphill course.

In addition to KU and other host schools, participating schools include Central Missouri State University, Colorado State University, Iowa State University, James Madison University, Lincoln University, Minnesota State University-Mankato, Missouri State University, North Dakota State University, Princeton University, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, University of Colorado, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of Nebraska, University of Northern Iowa, Washington University and Wentworth Academy.

The intercollegiate event is patterned after the U.S. Army Rangers’ Best Ranger Competition, often nationally televised and scheduled this year for May 8-10 at Fort Benning, Ga.

5:25 a.m. — First formation/opening address
5:45 a.m. — Ruck march begins
8 a.m. — Events/team breakout
8:30-9:45 a.m. — First event
10-11:15 a.m. — Second event
11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. — Third event
1:30-2:15 p.m. — Fourth event
2:30-3:45 p.m. — Fifth event
4 p.m. — Modified physical fitness test
6 p.m. — Awards ceremony

KU Army ROTC team members in the 2009 Best Ranger Buddy Competition are listed below by hometown, major, level in school and, if available, parents’ names and previous school attended.

DOUGLAS COUNTY
From Lawrence 66044
Jason Gaberial Dick, junior in communication studies; Park Hill Senior High School, Kansas City, Mo.

From Lawrence 66049
John P. Bergman, freshman preparing to study business, son of Ray and Kathy Bergman; Lawrence Free State High School.

Michelle Elizabeth Dick, senior in sport science; Leavenworth (Kan.) Senior High School.

DICKINSON COUNTY
From Solomon 67480
Brian Keith Edwards, sophomore in classical languages and political science, son of Brian and Diane Edwards; Solomon High School.

GRAY COUNTY
From Cimarron 67835
Joseph Adam Kinsey, senior in health and physical education, son of Michael and Glenda Kinsey; Cimarron High School.

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Gardner 66030
John A. Fridlington, junior in history, son of John and Jeri Lynn Fridlington; Gardner Edgerton High School.

From Leawood 66209
Travis Charles Roberts, nondegree-seeking student, son of Glenn and Brenda Roberts; Blue Valley North High School, Overland Park.

From Olathe 66061
Kyle Todd Daniels, senior in management, son of Todd and Beth Daniels; Olathe North High School.

LEAVENWORTH COUNTY
From Leavenworth 66048
Bruce Albert Archambault III, senior in biology; Leavenworth Senior High School.

John Arthur Irvine, senior in geography and management, son of John and Marcia Irvine; Leavenworth Senior High School.

Brian Kirk Mills, freshman in history, son of Danny and Carol Mills; Leavenworth Senior High School.

PHILLIPS COUNTY
From Phillipsburg 67661
Thomas James Townsdin, junior in history; Phillipsburg High School.

SEDGWICK COUNTY
From Andale 67001
Matthew Robert Moore, sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, son of Mark and Cheryl Moore; Andale High School.

From Haysville 67060
Brandon Kelly Stafford, freshman preparing to study medicine; Haysville Alternative High School.

From Maize 67101
Austin Thomas Drake, sophomore in theatre and film, son of Curtis and Rebecca Drake; Maize High School.

SHAWNEE COUNTY
From Topeka 66604
Alexander David Cloyd, junior preparing to study business; San Pasqual High School, Escondido, Calif.

CALIFORNIA
From Taft 93268
Tanner Ross Suthard, junior preparing to study business and law, son of Kent and Milea Suthard; Taft Union High School.

From Temple City 91780
Timothy Michael Burton, master’s degree student in civil engineering; California Polytechnic State University-Pomona.

COLORADO
From Westminster 80234
Jacob Edward Thomson, sophomore in theatre and film and pre-journalism, son of Rodney and Linda Thomson Legacy High School, Broomfield, Colo.

ILLINOIS
From St. Charles 60174
Andrea Nicole Hannaford, freshman in applied behavioral science, daughter of Dale and Nora Hannaford; Saint Charles East High School.

MISSOURI
From Florissant 63034
Helen Kathleen Draffen, junior in history, daughter of Terry and Nancy Draffen; Hazelwood Central Senior High School.

Kelly Irene Draffen, senior in American studies, daughter of Terry Draffen; bachelor’s degree in history from KU, spring 2008; Hazelwood Central Senior High School.

From Kansas City 64119 and Springfield 65810
Jennifer Marie Covell, freshman preparing to study business, daughter of Ron Covell of Kansas City and Becky Hosp of Springfield; Winnetonka High School, Kansas City, Mo.

NEW YORK
From Fort Drum 13602
Justin Michael Patterson, sophomore in applied behavioral science preparing to study sport science and community health, son of Mark and Deanna Patterson; Indian River Senior High School, Philadelphia, N.Y.

SOUTH DAKOTA
From Woonsocket 57385
Chase Elliott Olson, junior preparing to study nursing, son of Karla Olson; Mitchell High School, Mitchell, S.D.

VIRGINIA
From Chesapeake 23322
Erin Michael Allen, freshman in human biology, son of Floyd and Deborah Allen; Great Bridge High School.

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