By Matt Decker (Leonard Wood)March 1, 2018
The 84th Chemical Battalion won the 2018 Commander's Cup Swim Meet Saturday at Davidson Fitness Center, sealing their victory with a 1.3 second win over the defending-champion 554th Engineer Battalion in the meet's final event: the 200-meter medley relay.
"We knew it was going to be really close," said Michael Fu, 84th Chem. Bn. coach and lead-off swimmer for the medley relay team, which also included Anthony Osborne, Austin Maddox and Thomas Inwood. The team won the second heat with a combined time of 2 minutes, 11.6 seconds -- a mere 1.3 seconds faster than the 2:12.92 that the 554th Engr. Bn. team had established earlier in the first heat.
"It came down to Captain Inwood anchoring us," Fu said. "I mean, we were only one second ahead of them at the end."
Inwood, however, stressed that the win was a team effort.
"It just came down to us putting in a good effort together," Inwood said.
The 84th Chem. Bn. took first place with 142 points, while the 554th Engr. Bn. placed second with 140 points. U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood took third place with 91 points. The 14th Military Police Brigade finished in fourth place with 58 points, while the 31st Engineer Battalion took fifth with 40, the 3rd Chemical Brigade finished sixth with 32, the Medical Department Activity was seventh with 27 points, and the 58th Transportation Battalion placed eighth with 21 points.
"This is my 15th year running this event, and this is the closest score we have ever had," said Danny Howell, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sports specialist, who thanked participants from all eight teams that competed Saturday.
Nikki Stone, FMWR lead lifeguard at Davidson Fitness Center, presented the championship trophy to the 84th Chem. Bn. team, which Fu accepted.
Open to all active-duty military personnel, units could have up to 25 percent of their team made up of retirees, Department of Defense civilian employees or dependents ages 18 and older.
Scored similarly to USA Swimming, teams earned points for each swimmer who finished in the top five in each event, with double points awarded for relay-event scores.
The 554th Engr. Bn. won the first three events of this year's meet, taking first place in the opening 400-meter freestyle relay, the 100-meter breaststroke and the 50-meter butterfly.
Inwood scored the first victory for the 84th Chem. Bn., winning the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 58.7 in the third heat.
Fu followed with a first-place finish in the 100-meter backstroke, winning with a time of 1:06.27.
The Garrison team of Gary Hackney, Scott Shaffer, Jonathan Berti and Adam Leemans won the 200-meter freestyle relay, taking first place in the second heat with a time of 2:08.
After a halftime break, the 554th Engr. Bn. won the 50-meter breaststroke, with Daniel Csakai taking first place in the second heat with a time of 32.1 seconds.
Inwood scored another first-place finish for the 84th Chem. Bn. in the 200-meter freestyle, earning a time of 2:04.82 in the second heat.
Garrison's Scott Werkmeister won the 50-meter backstroke event with a time of 34.17 seconds.
Csakai led the 554th Engr. Bn. to victory in the 100-meter individual medley, finishing with a time of 1:01.07 in the second heat.
Inwood then won the 50-meter freestyle for the 84th Chem. Bn. in the second heat with a time of 24.88, before the final 200-meter medley relay took place.
With their win, the 84th Chem. Bn. broke a three-year winning streak by 554th Engr. Bn., which had not placed lower than first in the annual swim meet since 2014. This year's meet also had the highest participation since 2015, when 10 teams took part.
Also participating were volunteers from the 2nd Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment.
"We have six volunteers here helping to record times," said Lt. Col. John Watson, adding that the volunteers enjoyed lending a hand.
"Part of our mission since we've been here is to establish some relationships with the community, and one way to do that is through volunteering," he said.
Swimmers from several teams said they took advantage of DFC's open recreation hours to practice for the meet. Stone said the pool is open certain hours nearly every day.
"As long as you have access to Davidson Fitness Center -- either you have (a military) ID that you can scan in, or you have someone sign you in as a guest, you can come in and use the pool," Stone said. "On weekends, we open at 8 a.m. and we close everything down about 3:45 p.m. It's open for recreational swimming for everyone, so you can come in and lap swim, and people can bring their families in. It's $3 for recreational swimming, and you pay that at the front desk. During the week, we do have military training going on, so we have set lap times: from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Then in the evenings, at 4:30 p.m., we open up for open and lap swimming again, and we remain open until around 7:45 p.m."