Nease NJROTC wins Middleburg Pentathlon championship


Two Nease NJROTC teams participated in the 2016 Middleburg High School NJROTC Pentathlon Championships, taking home both the first and second place trophies.

The 14-team competition, held Sept. 24 at Middleburg High School, was a grueling five-event competition that tested physical fitness strength, endurance, academic knowledge, seamanship and marksmanship.

Events included a 35-yard tire flip, knot tying, brain brawl puzzle, air rifle live fire and a 100-yard Humvee push. Participants carried a 20-pound ruck sack a quarter- to half-mile between events. The five-cadet teams were comprised of four males and one female.

The winning team, team A, included cadets Ryan Berry, Mackenzie Davis, Brian Swicegood, Cali Vaughn and Giovani Fletcher. A varsity football player, Fletcher came to the pentathlon the morning after a tough football game.

“Football is a punishing sport, but the pentathlon is absolutely brutal,” Fletcher said. “Finishing the competition with an uphill Humvee push wiped me out!”

Second-place finishers Team B narrowly missed upstaging the winning team by mere seconds. Team B was comprised of cadets Carter Cimaglia, Jesse Gatewood, Matthew Moorefield, Justin Blackford and Erin Sass. The team won three of the events – the tire flip, brain brawls puzzle and overall course run.

“Our team gave 110 percent,” Cimaglia said. “We battled throughout and never gave in to the pain – especially during that final Humvee push.”

Nease sent one team to the pentathlon championships in 2015. That team won second place.

“This event, even though it’s physically grueling, is our funnest competition of the year,” Vaughn said. “Middleburg really hosts a great competition.”