Range team places first in competition

By Tricia Roegner

The NIU ROTC Range team took first place in two different events at a competition held at Fort McCoy, Wis. on Oct. 18-20.

The Ranger Challenge is a yearly competition held for ROTC groups from universities across the Midwest. It was the fifth- consecutive year NIU had participated in the events.

This year, 12 different universities were represented and NIU finished high among the other schools in the different events, said ROTC Sgt. Maj. Peter Keith.

“I think it’s great that the team did so well because they put a lot of effort into it, and they were rewarded for that effort,” he said.

Events in the Ranger Challenge included exercises in land navigation, rope bridges and hand grenade assualt practices.

The NIU team finished first in the M-16 rifle event, the 10K road march and finished second in the Army fitness test.

The range team, which was made up of nine NIU ROTC students, started practicing for the competition at the beginning of the semester. Sgt. Maj. Keith said this year’s team was unique because NIU was one of the few teams that had a female on its range team.

NIU junior Christine Dalve has participated in the competition for the last three years and said she considers it a challenge to be one of the few females who participates in the competition.

“It really is challenging because everyone just considers me as one of the guys,” Dalve said. “I really have to push myself to keep up with them.”

NIU junior Kevin Field, another member of the range team who finished in the top standings of the Army physical test, said he was pleased with what the range team accomplished this year.

“I am very pleased with our results because we showed a big improvement from last year,” Field said.