Duo wins first place at 21st annual Best Ranger Competition this past Saturday
Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) students Anna Frenette and Liz Reitebach won first place among female teams at the Best Ranger Competition on Saturday, a competition annually organized by Xavier’s ROTC program.
In its 21st year, the Best Ranger Competition took place at Camp Friedlander, on the eastern edge of Cincinnati. Colleges from the Midwest region were represented by 69 ROTC teams.
“Different schools’ ROTC programs come to Xavier to participate in our competition and attempt to win first place in the different categories,” senior computer science major EJ Cervantes said. “They compete in teams of two, and the different categories of competition are male-male teams, male-female teams and female-female teams.”
The competition runs all day long, from as early as 6 a.m. to as late as 8 p.m.
“It is such a tough competition, and by the end of the day, everyone is completely exhausted,” Cervantes said.
“We have different stations during the challenge that test teams’ physical abilities, critical thinking skills, as well as different soldiering skills,” he continued.
Some of these stations included a weapons assembly station, an archery station and a written mental challenge station.
This year, Xavier was best represented by sophomore engineering physics major Anna Frenette and sophomore nursing major Liz Reitebach.
“Liz and I had no expectation of winning, we just went in knowing we were going to give it our best and learn from the experience and of course have fun with it,” Frenette said.
Reitebach echoed this sentiment.
There were a few stations and challenges that specifically stood out to the winning Xavier team.
“Frenette and I found ourselves doing really well at events that required more physical effort like the Endless Run and Iron Strike,” Reitebach said. “The harder ones for us were the skills, such as one of the Weapon Assemblies and Reciting the Ranger Creed.”
Both agreed that the most physically exhausting task of the day was the Iron Strike, which requires cadets to complete a 15-foot rope climb, a 400-meter water jug carry and a 200-meter tire flip, among others.
Nonetheless, this team managed to place first in the female-female category.
“We always have so much fun together and were just there to do our best and have fun. Winning felt great but I was more excited that Anna and I got to do it together,” Reitebach said.
Another one of the competitors, first-year criminal justice major and ROTC ranger Jack Dzierzanowski, reflected on his experience as a part of Xavier’s ROTC.
“Throughout the course of these programs, you learn valuable skills that will aid you in being an effective leader in our nation’s military,” Dzierzanowski said. “These skills range from tactics to proper etiquette when speaking to a person who is above your senior, to how to properly wear your uniform, to physical fitness.”
“Overall the event went really well,” Cervantes said. “We had over 300 people show up to compete, help on the administration side or simply just watch.”
For more information about future events or the ROTC program, contact Lt. Col. Michael Marchetti.