Best Ranger Competition requires more physical tasks this year - WRBL

Best Ranger Competition requires more physical tasks this year

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FORT BENNING, Ga. -

50 teams were whittled down to 24 after a grueling first day of the 30th Best Ranger Competition. The road march started late Friday, allowing most teams 15 minutes or less of sleep before the day two tests at Todd Field.

Officer in Charge CPT Daniel Zorola says, "The guys that make it here to day two are legitimately the best the Army has to offer. Not taking anything away from the guys that train up and volunteer to come to something like this, but everything from physical, mental, psychological; everything is fatigued right now."

2006 BRC champion Mikhail Venikov says it's hard to stay motivated when you have no energy left. "You have to keep going, pushing forward, not giving up, not stopping," he says. "These guys are all tired, hungry, sleepy, they just want to go home and sleep. Their feet are probably all messed up and blisters and what not, but they're just pushing forward and continuing on."

Venikov says the competition has changed since he was in the game. With the Army's financial problems, the BRC has had to use less ammunition and more physical events this year.

He notes, "Some of the events are a little bit different, as far as they're not doing as much shooting, stretch shoots, stuff like that which is difficult after these guys have been up numerous hours not eating, not sleeping, so stuff like that puts a toll on your body."

Despite the rough conditions, more families came to support their rangers than in year's past. SFC John Gendron's clan arrived with a mass of personalized shirts and his sons look forward to competing in the future. "It's going to take some work, but we can do it," says his son Cael.

Zorola says the competition's tasks are very applicable to conditions in the field. Sunday the rangers will test their skills with a new event; canoeing and swimming across Victory pond.

Team 34, SFC Raymond Santiago and SFC Tim Briggs are currently at the top of the leader board.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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