Cadet Activities Update
(Updated March 12, 2014)
Triathlon: The West Point Triathlon Team hosted the first-ever spring Northeast Collegiate Triathlon Conference Duathalon at Camp Buckner March 9.
The USA Triathlon-sanctioned event was open to all collegiate athletes from the conference and provided an opportunity for them to qualify for the Collegiate National Championships in April. Athletes representing nine universities from the northeast braved the unseasonably cold weather which consisted of a 1.5-km run followed by a 24-km bike and a 5-km run.
The West Point team also fielded a small number of competitors including Class of 2014 Cadet Jessica Clay, Class of 2016 Cadet Holly Harrington, and Class of 2017 Cadets Jennifer Niemann and Allison Voll.
All of the West Point athletes qualified for Collegiate Nationals. Clay earned first place and Harrington earned third place in the women’s division at the inaugural event.
The West Point team cadets, coaches and officers along with help from volunteers from Team Red, White and Blue set up and supported the event. Medical support was graciously provided by the Ski Patrol cadets and volunteers from Keller Army Hospital. Traffic control on Route 293 was provided by the New York State Highway Patrol.
Combat Weapons Team: Members of both the Combat Weapons Team and the West Point Pistol team traveled to Wappinger Falls to compete in a local Steel Challenge Pistol match.
This match served as a final outdoor practice for both squads prior to them traveling to Fort Benning, Ga., over spring break to compete in the Scholastic Pistol Program Collegiate Nationals.
This year is the first time where both the Combat Weapons Team and the Pistol team have shot in the SPP shooting league.
The league is comprised of 20 collegiate teams to include the Coast Guard Academy and a team from the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. All the teams compete in regional matches around the country culminating in the Collegiate Nationals at Fort Benning in the spring. This year’s match will be hosted by the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at the Krilling Range Complex March 15.
Pipes and Drums: The U.S. Corps of Cadets Pipes and Drums participated in the 17th annual White Plains St. Patrick’s Day Parade March 8. The USCC Pipes and Drums lead the military contingent of the parade working with the Stewart Airfield Marine Corps Color Guard. The band was a favorite along the route and played crowd favorites like “The Caissons Go Rolling Along,” “Garry Owen” and “Rowan Tree.” The parade itself consisted of local Pipe Bands, High School Marching bands, collegiate bands, local Irish heritage groups, police and firefighter units and local dignitaries.
The parade route ended at the White Plains City Hall where the cadets performed a set accompanied by the West Point Highland Dancers in front of the reviewing stands. The White Plains parade was the first St. Patrick’s Day that the USCC Pipes and Drums have marched in over a decade.
Fine Arts Forum: Cadets from the Elsie Sannes-Pinnell Art Appreciation Forum traveled March 9 to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the largest art museum in the United States. To help cadets navigate through over two million pieces of art, U.S. Military Academy Art Historian Dr. Betsy Chunko met the group and highlighted details about rare works from the Ancient Greek, Medieval and Egyptian Galleries. Of particular interest to cadets was the ephemeral nature of Etruscan bird art and the pagan scenes carved into wooden French cathedral furniture.
Cycling: The West Point Cycling team competed March 8-9 in Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference’s road season opener in Mountainside, N.J.
The ECCC is one of the 11 regional conferences making up USA Cycling Collegiate. It spans from Delaware to Maine and includes a 1,000 student athletes from 70 schools competing in track, mountain bike, cyclocross and road racing events throughout the year.
The two-day event was hosted by Stevens University and included 285 participants from 35 Eastern Cycling Conference Schools. Competition included a team time trial, road race and circuit race. For many of the West Point’s team members, this was their first cycling competition and the first time this semester they were able to ride outdoors because of the harsh winter. West Point finished 17th overall.
Top 10 team finishes included Saturday’s road race in the Men’s Novice Category with Class of 2017 Cadet Adam Ruff finishing in second place.
In the Women’s novice category, Class of 2017 Cadet Kiana Frick placed fourth. In the circuit race Sunday, Class of 2014 Cadet Micha Douglas placed 10th in the Men’s expert category, Ruff finished 9th in the men’s intermediate category, Class of 2017 Cadet Daniel Serrano placed sixth and Class of 2016 Cadet Joel Lester seventh in Men’s novice, while Frick and Class of 2016 Cadet Jinny Yan finished fifth and eighth, respectively, in the Women’s novice circuit. The team returns to competition after spring break and will host conference competition with the Army Spring Classic scheduled for April 5-6.
Men’s Team Handball: The 2014 Scott Pace Memorial Handball Invitational featured fierce international handball competition at Arvin Gymnasium Feb. 28-March 2. The event was hosted by the West Point Men’s Team Handball Club in honor of Capt. Scott Pace, a Class of 2005 graduate and Army Aviator, killed in Afghanistan June 5, 2012.
Pace, who was an exceptional handball player as a cadet, was honored in a memorial ceremony hosted by West Point Team Handball. The inaugural dedication featured nine teams from the U.S. and Canada.
The tournament opened on Friday Night with West Point Black (Varsity) taking on Sherbrooke HBC, hailing from Montreal; and, West Point Gold (JV) playing against Chicago Inter Handball Club. Both West Point squads started the competition with loses but regrouped.
West Point Black won three consecutive games against very good club teams from Washington, D.C. and North Carolina, earning a spot in semifinals versus the four-time Club National Champion team from New York. After a tough loss to NYC Club, West Point’s Black team earned a rematch against Sherbrooke HBC. Black’s defense led by Class of 2015 Cadet Coleman Grider, combined with exceptional goalkeeping by Class of 2015 Cadet David Brown to ensure the victory and third place on the podium.
West Point Gold (JV) earned two victories this weekend against quality opponents Celtique HBC from Canada and North Carolina finishing the weekend with sixth place and a record of two wins and four losses. Impressive performances were recorded by Class of 2016 Cadet Andrew Kane and Class of 2017 Cadet Jalen Sweat.
Perhaps the most impressive acts of sportsmanship and competitive spirit came from D.C. Silencers—a club team from Washington, D.C., comprised of athletes with hearing and speech disabilities. Members of this club represented the U.S. National Team in the Deaflympic throughout the years.
The Men’s Handball Team looks forward to North-East League Competitions, College Nationals, April 12-13 and Club Nationals, May 15-17.