Mililani Trojan Cadets take on Menehune Adventure Challenge
February 3, 2014
WAIMEA, Kauai (Jan. 24, 2014) -- Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadets from Mililani High School competed in the Menehune Adventure Challenge (MAC), here, Jan. 17-19.
The MAC was hosted by Waimea High School Menehune Army JROTC Battalion and support personnel, to include the Hawaii Army National Guard, to test the Cadets?' physical fitness abilities, leadership skills and teamwork.
The competition pushed the Cadets to their physical limits by testing them in six separate stations over the two-day competition.
The first challenge was the Modified Physical Fitness Test (MPFT). The MPFT measures Cadets?' overall strength and fitness level, consisting of push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups and a 2-mile run. Most of the Trojan Team members are very physically fit, as they take this test several times a year and each test is tailored for the upcoming event.
The second task was the 400-meter swim, conducted in the community pool next to the Waimea High School. Each Cadet entered the water and had to swim four lengths of the pool, for a total of 400 meters.
?"The focus of our team was that we practiced several times before the competition, and we looked at each other?'s stroke, making minor improvements that helped our non-competitive swimmers with their performance," said Cadet Capt. Darius Usborne. ?"I wanted to help two of our boys, so we practiced several times at the YMCA in Mililani right after school. It really paid off."
The third event was a mile-long obstacle course that traversed the entire camp site. The event started by rolling a 100-pound coconut trunk up a 45-degree slope hill, followed by a climb up a 20-foot rope and to the top, and then a run and scale of a 10-foot lava-rock wall. Then, after all of that, Cadets continued through the obstacle course with a climb up an 8-foot vertical wooded wall, then down a culvert and commando crossing of a rope bridge without falling off.
?"I had really no idea how demanding this was going to be," said Cadet Capt. Owen Miyahara. ?"What really slowed me down was the vertical 8-foot wall. It was hard to get a running start, and only through teamwork was I able to get over the wall.
?"Climbing through these obstacles were very challenging, since none of us had ever been on the course before," Miyahara added.
The forth event was the rope-bridge construction and crossing.
?"This is one of our strongest areas," said Cadet Capt. Brandee Schiller. ?"We practice rope-bridge building over and over, and each Cadet has a specific job to do on the team. Once the rope bridge is constructed, the members have to cross the bridge and avoid touching the water."
Following the rope-bridge event, Cadets refueled by having a spaghetti dinner in anticipation for the next day?'s competition.
The final leg of the MAC included a 6-mile run, followed by a canoe race up the Waimea River, where Cadets were required to paddle an outrigger canoe up the river, under the bridge and turn around and head back to where they started
?"This is something that I have looked forward to for the entire event," said Cadet Command Sgt. Maj. Keoni Borja. ?"We are all runners on the Raider team, we enjoy running, and after reaching the turn-around point at mile three, we got our second wind and never turned back."
?"It is always such an adventure to get these cadets in the canoes and watch them work as a team," said Command Sgt. Maj. Keith Castaneda, Army instructor, Waimea High School Army JROTC.
?"Our goal is to get them to work as a team," added Castaneda. ?"You cannot accomplish these tasks by yourself, and this was our focus; you?'re a team, so you have to work off the strengths and weaknesses off each member."
?"Our No. 1 priority is safety," said Maj. (Ret.) Victor Aguilar. ?"We had to make sure we had measures in place to mitigate any dangers. We look forward to hosting the event next year, as well."