VERMILLION, S.D. – A team of University of South Dakota Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Cadets won first place against teams from South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota in the regional Ranger Challenge Competition last weekend. The last time USD won was in 1990.
The team traveled to Camp Ripley, Minnesota to compete in the 48-hour competition. USD has competed in the Ranger Challenge every year, and it is considered ROTC’s version of a varsity sport.
“Since the start of the school year, our team of warrior-leaders trained tirelessly and entered this year’s competition believing that anything is possible,” said Major Dan Sundberg, chair of the military science program at USD. “This year’s Ranger Challenge was a grueling competition that tested our cadets’ strength, knowledge, teamwork and intestinal fortitude.”
USD will travel to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri to compete against winning teams from Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas on Nov. 2.
“Our team persevered, despite early setbacks, and finished with class,” Sundberg said. “They are a cool, collected and calm group that embodied the ROTC attributes of scholar, athlete and leader.”
The team consisted of the following 11 members.
- Cadet Tanner Smith, junior - social work (team captain)
- Cadet Raeann Patrick, sophomore - nursing (team assistant captain)
- Cadet Sam Powell, senior - business
- Cadet Jake Preble, senior - business
- Cadet Cole Clemitson, senior - medical biology
- Cadet Seth Titus, senior - nursing
- Cadet Curtis (Shay) Weber, junior - business (Wayne State College)
- Cadet John Boes, junior - criminal justice
- Cadet Bailey Dejong, sophomore - medical biology
- Cadet Austin Shaefer, 2nd year law student
- Cadet Carter Yungwirth, freshman - biology