Jump over the hay
Community youngsters negotiate the Leap of the Rose hurdle during Warrior Challenge competition on Caserma Ederle Feb. 14.

VICENZA, Italy- Cupid was doing his best to warm things up for the St. Valentine's Day Warrior Challenge, but Jack Frost put a definite chill in the air Feb. 14 at the Sports and Fitness track on Caserma Ederle. Sixteen 2-member teams took part in this sixth Warrior Challenge event put on by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation for Soldiers and Families. Competitors in five categories charged through 9 Valentine's-themed obstacles and challenges.

Lovers competitors Susan and Peter Tarvis were in the spirit of the event. "Sixteen years married and we've never raced together," said Susan, who competed in an earlier Warrior Challenge and other events. "A good Valentine's Day event, particularly with the snow and what not, makes it interesting," said Peter, who signed them up for the event. "We're ready to hit it!"

The course featured eight legs: Leap of the Rose hurdles, snow packed "tunnel of love" crawl, 50-yard partner carry, Box of Chocolates chew, tandem sack race, puzzle table, archery event, and pair dash to the finish. Each event had its challenges, often demonstrating the value of teamwork and taking advantage of your partner's particular strength--whether it was chewing through almost frozen chocolates (several teams' most difficult task), hitting a heart target with an Cupid-sized bow and arrow, or solving puzzles.

Here are the results:

In the Elementary School category 1st place finishers were "Superheroes" Selomi Dayaprema, 10, and Becca Ellinger, 10. Taking 2nd place were Nic Ellinger, 8, and Damien Slama, 7. Wrapping up 3rd place were Nicole Herter, 7, and Arial Herter, 10.
In the Middle School category team "Cupid's Black Heart" Mason Suarez, 12, and Dylan Stone, 12, took 1st place. 2nd place went to "Duck Commanders" sisters Abbi Neese, 12, and Hunter Neese, 10, with "Mad Dogs" brothers Dylan McDonald, 12, and Dayton McDonald, 10, coming in 3rd place.

In the Gal-Pals category the competition was fierce, beginning with crazy costumes. Taking 1st place was team "A 'Heart' On" Gina Finn and Jenny Sandstrum. Coming in 2nd place after difficulty at the Box of Chocolates chew was "Super Cupids" Sally Hilderbrand and Melissa Adamski. Finishing in a hard fought 3rd place was "I 'Heart' the '80s" Nikki Naylor and Stephanie Julca.

Lovers category winners were 1st place finishers "Twelve Feet of Perry" Josh and Maggie Perry who shared a celebratory kiss at the finish line. "Friends Forever" Paul and Danielle McLean came in a strong 2nd place, followed closely by "BAMF" Seth and Tia Snyder for 3rd place.
Finishing up the competition was Battle-Buddies where Josh Gatlin and Matt Graham of team "Shake-n-Bake" wrested 1st place from ODR team "Onesies" Chris Wolff and Todd Trivisonno.

All participants received appropriately pink T-shirts with the "Love Hurts" event slogan and stogie chewing Cupid logo. Also assisting at the event were volunteers from FMWR Sports, Fitness, and Aquatics, Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS), and the Boy Scouts of America Troop 295.

Page last updated Fri February 22nd, 2013 at 00:00