'Lifeline' marks partnership with Kansas State track team with award presentation
May 6, 2014
Manhattan, Kan. -- For the third year running, Soldiers and leaders with the 299th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division highlighted their partnership with the Kansas State University Track & Field team with the presentation of the "Heartbeat of the Team" award May 3 as KSU hosted the Ward Haylett Invitational meet at R.V. Christian Track Complex.
Sarah Kolmer, a junior from Emporia who competes in combined events such as the heptathlon, won the award.
"As the word 'heartbeat' itself represents, the award goes to a student-athlete who's got a great work ethic and morals, very much like an American Soldier, a guy or girl that really fights hard for the team and makes a big difference," Lt. Col. C.J. King, commander of the 299th BSB, 2nd ABCT, said.
The title of the award is fitting given that the battalion serves as the logistical hub for the "Dagger" Brigade, King said.
"Our unit literally provides the heartbeat for the Dagger Brigade, and without the things we provide the brigade as a whole cannot keep moving," he said. "For this Kansas State team, without the motivation that Sarah provides, they'd have a difficult time moving as well."
In addition to presenting the award, Soldiers from the "Lifeline" Battalion helped run the meet, helping with jump events and most field events, including the high jump, long jump, and javelin throw.
"We want to bring these Soldiers out here to show the student-athletes that we actually care for them," Command Sgt. Maj. Toby Grisham, senior enlisted adviser with 299th BSB, 2nd ABCT, said.
The battalion hopes their partnership with the track team can lead to greater achievement in basic physical fitness activities like running, Grisham said.
"With the Soldier-athlete concept in the Army, I think it's huge for us to get involved," he said. "We're trying to have some track athletes out to our headquarters on post to help show us some things about how we can do better on running."
Spc. Sammy Villarreal, a human resources specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 299th BSB and a Lewisville, Tex., native, was one of the Soldiers who volunteered to help at the meet.
"It's been nice getting out into the community, seeing everyone out here and getting to help out," he said.
Villarreal said he was especially looking forward to seeing the track events.
"I've seen them practicing during the field events, and I know things get really interesting when the races start."
KSU athletes ended up taking 13 first-place finishes in the meet, which also included teams from Wichita State University, the Air Force Academy, and the University of Kansas.