USS PELELIU -- Marines and sailors of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group faced a battle of strength and cardiovascular endurance in the gym of the USS Peleliu, April 27-28,
The challenge was the final competition of the Campbell Cup, a competition that brought teams from within the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group against each other. This two-night event pitted the Command Element’s team against Kilo Company’s team in a showdown for the coveted Campbell Cup.
The first event in the challenge was a 25-minute distance test, which required each participant to push themselves as hard as possible on a prescribed bike setting.
“This was a great event for bragging rights,” said Lance Cpl. Alex P. Labier, rifleman, 2nd Platoon, Kilo Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th MEU. “I have a competitive spirit and wanted to represent the company well. It really helped to have them there with me to cheer me on,” added the 21-year-old native of Ware, Mass., who won the event by biking 16.8 miles in 25 minutes.
The next event was a bench press competition. This was a contest to see who could conduct the most repetitions with 205 pounds on the bar. To be a full repetition, the bar needed to touch a folded towel on the participant’s chest and the contestant’s arms needed to be locked at the top. Sergeant Nathan Y. Shay, the data chief with the Command Element, won this event with 41 repetitions.
After the bench press competition, the Marines moved over to something they were all very familiar with: the pull-up bar. In order for the repetition to count, participants needed to wait until the appointed counter gave the command “up.” This significantly increased the difficulty; however, the Marines were allowed to drop from the bar to rest. Each participant was allotted five minutes to complete as many repetitions as possible. Lance Cpl. Lacaundus O. McBride, a rifleman with 3rd Platoon, Kilo Company, won this event with 40 pull-ups.
Next, the Marines huddled around two rowing machines for a race to 3500 meters on the highest level of resistance.
“I’ve practiced rowing before, but never for this distance,” said Lance Cpl. John-Paul Hethcock, rifleman, Security Platoon, Maritime Raid Force, 15th MEU. “It felt good to win on behalf of my unit,” added the 20-year-old native of Virginia Beach, Va., who won the rowing event for the Command Element team with a time of 13 minutes and 5 seconds.
The final event brought the competitors back to Marine Corps tradition for a three-mile race on a treadmill.
“This was a great opportunity for the fittest on ship to represent their unit,” said Lance Cpl. Rodrigo Duran Jr., machine gunner, Weapons Platoon, Kilo Company, BLT 3/5, 15th MEU. “It challenged all of the participants and pushed them to give everything they’ve got,” added the 20-year-old native of Newnan, Ga., whose record on the three-mile run is 15 minutes, 30 seconds.
Duran won the run, and ultimately won the Campbell Cup for Kilo Company.
The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu ARG and is comprised of approximately 2,400 Marines and sailors. Together with Amphibious Squadron Three, they provide a forward-deployed, flexible sea-based Marine Air Ground Task Force capable of conducting a wide variety of operations ranging from humanitarian aid to combat.