11th ADA Bde. Soldiers take home Bliss swim meet title
October 28, 2010
FORT BLISS, Texas -- The 2010 Fort Bliss Intramural Post Championship Swim Meet packed the bleachers at Replica Aquatic Center Oct. 20 and 21.
The event measured the strength and endurance of active-duty, Reserve and National Guard Soldiers associated with the installation. Events of competition for Wednesday were Men and Women's 400-meter freestyle relay, 50-meter freestyle swim, 200-meter Individual Medley and 800-meter freestyle swim.
Thursday's events were the Men and Women's 100-meter breaststroke, 100-meter backstroke, 100-meter butterfly stroke, 100-meter freestyle swim and 200-meter medley relay.
The competition had two age categories: 34 and younger and 35 and older.
The 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade took home top honors with 161 points and William Beaumont Army Medical Center trailed for second place with 67 points.
Mallory Kessler, battle captain with 5th Battalion, 52nd ADA, 11th ADA Bde., swam best in the meet for the 34 and younger age group in all participating events (she swam in every event). Of winning, she said it feels "amazing."
"She is by far the most outstanding swimmer on post," said WBAMC anesthesiologist David Chatwin, of Kessler's abilities. Chatwin, who competed in the 35 and older category, also took first place medals in all of his events, contributing to his unit's second place win.
Due to the hospital's critical and ongoing mission, Chatwin said it is hard to pull away to participate in intramural sports. Because of this, when he is afforded an opportunity, he competes to win.
"It's a lot of fun," said Chatwin. "I think it's a great opportunity participating if the unit commander encourages the competition."
Chatwin also pointed out that swimming is a great cross-training workout that emphasizes cardiovascular endurance and is easy on the joints. Participation in the meet not only qualified as good for the body, but good for morale and unit cohesion.
Michael Naylor of B Battery, 5th Bn., 52nd ADA, was pleased to see his entire battery in the bleachers in support of him and another Soldier in the meet. Naylor said it was a good feeling to see so much support from his unit, especially since he entered the competition not just for the love of the sport but to help his brigade accrue points for the Commander's Cup.
"It feels great," said Naylor of his unit support. "It just feels amazing."
He also said it felt good to win first place. "That's the way it should be," said Naylor. "We are the 'Imperial' Brigade."