Old Friends Reunite and Raise the Stakes at 2014 Army Warrior Trials
June 24, 2014
As the athletes prepare their pistols, retired Capt. Frank Barroquiero of Gainesville, Georgia helped secure fellow Army athlete retired Sgt. Christopher Kurtz's wheelchair to make sure that he would be able to steady his aim. They were then given 15 minutes for preparation and sighting before moving into the 40-shot competition.
Medals for the shooting competition are based on the first round of 40 shots, however the top eight shooters moved to the finals, which were held for morale and additional practice. Two athletes, however, used this final round to settle a bet.
Barroquiero and retired Sgt. 1st Class Ben Trescott of Clarksville, Tennessee first met at the 2012 Warrior Games team selection. "Frank is like a brother to me," explained Trescott. "He is a rock for me, and I am a rock for him."
The pair began their friendly wager the first day of shooting practice during the 2014 Army Warrior Trials at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.
"Frank had been warming up on pistol all morning when he bet me dinner," Trescott grinned. "But I went into it cold so I ended up buying him dinner. We did it again the next day, and Frank bought us dinner."
Barroquiero, a Warrior Games medalist, hopes to return to the Warrior Games this fall in Colorado Springs, Colorado to compete again in shooting and archery. "I love archery, the therapeutic aspects. It's not about strength or physical ability, it's the mental part."
Like many of the athletes, Barroquiero has a routine to prepare for his sports. "I made a routine with the coaches and use it as a script," he explained. "It takes the whole tension in the room out." Barroquiero has a routine card for each part of the process--one for setup, one for sighting and one for shooting. "I learned to be good at forgiving myself for bad shots," he said, which helps him through the competition.
Veteran Ben Trescott has been shooting most of his life, having grown up on more than 200 square acres of farmland. He began archery a few years ago when the Challenged Athlete's Foundation introduced him to Jeffery Archery, a shop in South Carolina who sponsored Trescott with brand new, state of the art equipment. "I was able to fly Jeffery out to the Warrior Games that year," said Trescott. "I go to the furthest point I can in competition just to thank them for what they have given me."
He practices archery weekly with a friend back home. Shooting, however, is more difficult to keep up with. "The biggest hurdle with rifle and pistol practice is getting the compressed air," he explained. Trescott trains instead in his backyard with a regular rifle.
On competition day, the two wagered a steak dinner.
Frank was shooting in the SH1 pistol category for those with permanent physical disabilities, while Ben was shooting in the open category. They were in two separate medal categories, but still could compare their final shooting scores. As the 50-minute time limit neared the end, the two were neck and neck. When time was called, they looked at each other and laughed -- they had the exact same score.
Although that meant they were both taking home gold in their respective categories, there was still the final round to use as a tie breaker. After each round of the finals, the pair flip-flopped who was on top. The other six finalists were slowly weeded out until only Barroquiero and Trescott remained, once again at a dead tie with one shot left. With the final shot, Trescott pulled ahead.
"Steak dinner? We will see about that," Barroquiero said. "We still have the archery round…"