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April 3, 2013 — University of Wyoming Army ROTC members placed highly as a team and individually in the recent Bataan Memorial Death March marathon in White Sands, N.M.
Each year, the UW Cowboy Battalion sends a select group of cadets to participate in the challenging 26.2-mile marathon through the high desert terrain of White Sands Missile Range. The race is conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, while sacrificing their freedom, health and, in many cases, their lives, says Lt. Col. Mitch Day, a UW professor of military science and Army ROTC department chair.
“The day before the race, the UW cadets had an opportunity to meet the survivors from the Bataan Death March, providing them with a sense of gratitude toward these brave soldiers, as well as motivation for the demanding race,” he adds.
The grueling event attracts thousands of participants from around the world.
At last month’s race, the Cowboy Battalion sent a female civilian light team, two male light individuals, and one male heavy individual to compete in those respective categories.
The heavy and light participants ran the same course, but the heavy participant wore a 35-pound rucksack.
“The grueling terrain is part of what makes this such a unique race,” Day says. “The course follows an uneven dirt path and includes an impressive ascent between miles 6 and 14, and a ‘sand trap’ from miles 20 through 22.”
The UW civilian light team -- running in athletic gear -- won its division in a time of 4:44.59. Team members were cadets Leslie Ary from Casper; Maggie Edmiston of Valencia, Calif.; Maddy Hamblen, Richmond, Va.; Holly Reiner, Cheyenne; and Molly Varney from Worland.
Cadet Ben Rusk from Cheyenne finished in seventh place in the male ROTC heavy category with a time of 6:19.42.
Placing third in the male ROTC light (running in an Army-issued PT uniform) category was Cadet Zac Goldman from Durango, Colo., in 4:41.02. In the same division, Cadet Chaun Ary from Eaton, Colo., finished in sixth place with a time of 4:46.29.
Staff Sgt. Glenn Worley from Cheyenne -- a member of the cadre with UW ROTC -- finished 15th in his age group in the male military light category (running in full military uniform, but with no rucksack) with a time of 6:23.15.
“The members trained hard and, as a result, represented the University of Wyoming in a very positive light,” Day says. “This team did better than any other team over the last decade.”