NJROTC cadets take second in regional championships
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The Port Angeles High School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps placed at last weekend’s Northwest Drill & Rifle Conference Regional Championships.

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles High School Roughrider Company has earned its best finish ever — second place — at the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Northwest Drill & Rifle Conference Regional Championships in Oak Harbor.

The Roughriders finished the competition four points behind regional champion Oak Harbor High School, host of Saturday's competition.

The championship meet included 650 competitors from 27 schools in Washington state and Oregon competing in 10 team and individual categories.

“They exceeded my wildest expectations. It was such a thrill to see them do as well as they did,” said Capt. Jonathan Picker, senior naval science instructor for the Port Angeles Navy JROTC unit.

In the unit's history, the cadets have earned a total of eight top-three awards for individual or team performances in regional championships, awarded from 2007 to 2011.

On Saturday, they earned six and an additional four awards for fourth- or fifth-place finishes.

Drill team commander

Cadet Lt. Cmdr. Ashlee Reid was awarded the unit's only regional championship — an individual award as the region's top armed drill team commander.

For the award, the drill team commander's performance is judged separately from the drill team's overall execution.

The armed drill team earned third place.

“We went in knowing we were going to do better than last year. But we didn't know how good we were,” said Cadet Lt. Jordan Johnson, a member of the drill team and the physical training team.

A video of Reid and the drill team performance in Oak Harbor can be viewed at www.tinyurl.com/PDN-NJROTC.

Johnson said the teams at the competition were intense, focused and respectful of the other teams.

“Everyone was serious, ready to do their best,” Johnson said.

Roughrider color guard teams earned first- and second-place finishes in two separate categories.

The first-team color guard won second place in the senior color guard category, while the second team color guard earned first place in the junior color guard category.

Other placements

The physical training (fitness and strength) team earned third place, judged on the number of sit-ups in one minute, the number of untimed pushups they could do and the 1-mile run.

Also taking a third place was the precision rifle team, which uses air rifles in a precision shooting competition.

In other strong finishes that highlighted individual performances by Roughrider cadets, Jordan Johnson took fourth place, Iron Man; Cheyanne Pope, fourth place, Iron Woman; Maverick Jennings, fourth place, individual unarmed drill-down; and Ashlee Reid, fifth place, individual armed exhibition

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 20. 2014 5:27PM
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