Dimond Places First In Decathlon

Dimond JROTC cadets excelled in the Raider Decathlon held recently. JROTC participants had been warming up for the competition since school began. This year Dimond Gold has placed first, Maroon placed third and Grey placed sixth. It’s the first JROTC competition of the year, and supposedly the easiest, but the practices are rigorous. Raider Decathlon, also known as Raider Cup, is strictly for JROTC cadets. The “coach” for this event is Master Sgt. Thomas Shelley, who has helped lead Dimond to victory the past few years. Shelley is also responsible for creating the Raider Decathlon a few years ago when he began working at Dimond High as a JROTC instructor, which has helped Dimond score some extra trophies for the school’s collection. Cole Campoamore, a LET2 sophomore on Dimond Maroon, or JV, had to get up extra early for Raider Cup practice since the beginning of the school year. “Once a day, every day but Wednesday, and 5:30 a.m.,” he said. Last year, Campoamore was placed on Dimond Grey, but he then proved himself after his team placed seventh out of the 13 total teams competing. There are a total of 10 events in the Raider Decathlon, including events such as the pacer, mile and a half run, basketball toss, obstacle course, rock wall, “run, dodge, jump”, sprints and the paddle boats. All of those events took place at Fort Richardson Sept. 16 and 17. For the paddle boat competition, competitors camped out by Otter Lake, where they stayed for the weekend. This year, there were three teams, Dimond Gold, Dimond Maroon and Dimond Grey, and two spare cadets if there was a need for a replacement. Each team was composed of six cadets, three girls and three boys. Chris Lindbeck is a LET1 on Dimond Maroon, which means he had to make top 12 out of the 20 cadets participating. “I basically had to try my hardest, and I got picked,” said Lindbeck. The JROTC instructors chose who participated in each event, to achieve the best placement, place above the other schools and win a trophy. “Gold I think will do the best,” said Brallan Lugo before the competiton. Lugo is the S-1 NCOIC and did not participating in the decathlon. However, students at Dimond High School don’t seem to know what Raider Decathlon is, unless they are in ROTC. If they have heard of it, they might now know what it actually is. Raider Decathlon is an Anchorage School District competition between all of the JROTC school programs. All of the teams, composed of six cadets, compete against each other in 10 events to win a trophy. The schools participating in the Raider Decathlon were Dimond, East, West, South, Service and Colony High School. Dimond High School has held the trophy since the creation of the competition, and this year was no exception.