On the morning of Sept. 26, members of the Dalton High School Army Junior ROTC program — the Raiders — were about to experience a few new things: a competition at a new school (Cartersville High School) and a new mixed team led by Cadet Sgt. Parth Karande.
All the cadets had their temperature taken and were asked if they had any symptoms before they were authorized to participate. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for COVID-19 were briefed to the team captains and the rest of the Raiders before they departed.
After a 90-minute ride, the Raiders arrived, not knowing what was ahead during the day.
With an hour before the competition began, the Raiders began forming up by team, maintaining 6 feet away from each other, and started stretching. They set up their equipment and waited patiently until 9 a.m. for the 1-mile team run, the first event of the day.
After all three teams completed the team run, they went on to rope bridge and began setting up their rope and putting on their seats as other schools were competing.
The third event was the tire flip, which seemed easy to the Raiders because the tire looked light from a distance. However, it was much heavier when they began the event. The male team pushed through the pain and completed an event that not every school could complete.
Shortly after, the teams moved to the Raider Fitness Challenge, which tested their coordination and speed due to various equipment being used such as kettle bells and logs.
The final event was Cross Country Rescue, which was half of a mile long on flat terrain. The male team went first and used excellent planning and teamwork to get everyone over the 6-foot wall and to the finish line as soon as possible. The female team was next and they were able to pass a male team from another school that began previously and finished before them with determination and motivation from the Dalton male team.
Finally, it was the mixed team’s turn for Cross Country Rescue, and they were motivated by the rest of their teammates as they pushed through.
All three teams finished all their events by 2 p.m. and headed back to their tent for lunch. The Raiders maintained 6 feet apart from each other as they ate. They didn’t stay for the awards ceremony but the results were sent to Dalton High School via email.
The female team placed third in rope bridge and the team run, second in Cross Country Rescue and third place overall. Their streamers and trophy will be sent to Dalton High School soon to be presented to them.
Cartersville was a fun, learning experience for all three teams, whose members will keep working hard to place higher and higher each time.