The “Chesty’s Angels” teams attempts the log carry.
Josh Hypes | Collegian

More than 40 stu­dents and staff trekked through mud, climbed walls, flipped tires, dragged sleds, hauled logs, and carried buckets in Hillsdale’s first American Warrior Chal­lenge com­pe­tition hosted by the U.S. Army on Oct. 17.

A team known as “The Fel­lowship” won the chal­lenge with a first-place time of 32 minutes, earning them a steak dinner courtesy of the dean of men’s office. The team of juniors included Aidan Johnston, Clay Ward, Lewis Degoffau, and Noah Parker.

The primary purpose of the chal­lenge was to “do what war­riors do by getting down and dirty,” Asso­ciate Dean of Men Jeffery “Chief” Rogers said.

Second place went to “Chesty’s Angels,” a team of Marine can­di­dates, while “The Gen­tlemen Squad,” a team of staff members, came in third. 

“We want to provide stu­dents with oppor­tu­nities outside of class that have a com­pet­itive element,” Rogers said. “So we thought, why not pit some teams against each other and see what happens in a series of phys­i­cally intensive challenges?”

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Erik Newton said the Army worked closely with the dean of men and the Student Activ­ities Office.

“We began planning this event back in May with the pro­posal of the race and it slowly developed as we gaged student interest with the dean of men and Student Activ­ities Office,” Newton said. “We started logis­ti­cally planning this event in Sep­tember. This is the only college where we have orga­nized this type of race.”

Newton said the physical chal­lenges were similar to basic training for the Army.

“As far as the physical portion of the race it is very similar to training,” Newton said. “Working as a team is huge, but also pushing yourself phys­i­cally beyond the point of what you thought you can do is a huge part as well. We are looking for people’s par­tic­i­pation and people pushing them­selves to the point of physical exhaustion.” 

Before the event began, several teams buzzed with excitement.

“I have long con­sidered myself a warrior of sorts,” said senior Zach Miles, a member of the “Gal­loway Ath­letic Youth Squad.” 

Team members from “Chesty’s Angels” said they noticed the event was hosted by the Army and thought it needed some Marines.

“When we heard about the American Warrior Chal­lenge, we thought this should have some marines in it,” said senior Spencer Woodford, a member of “Chesty’s Angels.” “More than any­thing we are looking forward to the mud. We are going to take on this chal­lenge together.”

Junior Aidan Johnston of “The Fel­lowship” dressed like Frodo Baggins from Tolkein’s “The Lord of the Rings.” He said he was afraid of staining his white shirt in the mud.

The race pushed many to the point of physical exhaustion, freshman David Ard said. Ard said the log carry was by far the most dif­ficult chal­lenge on the course.

“I think the log carry is what slowed us down the most,” Ard said. “I thought I was ready for it, but you have to carry that thing more than  a quarter of a mile.”

At the end of the race, many par­tic­i­pants said they were happy they com­pleted the challenge.

“We loved the course,” senior Grant Boyes, a member of “Chesty’s Angels,” said. “For the Army putting this on it was pretty tough. This was our last chance to all suffer together before we graduate. We loved the mud and we loved the challenge.”

Junior Noah Parker said “The Fel­lowship” was excited after finding out they won first place.

“I’m super excited for our steak dinner with the deans.” Parker said. “That will be a sub­stantial reward for the physical chal­lenge we endured. It was semi-sat­is­fying to see Chief’s per­plexity when we beat all the other teams.”