FORT BRAGG, N.C. - As Jessica Cook was called to the shot put circle, she smirked, pointed to her chest with both thumbs and said, "They call me champ." Then with all her strength, she threw the nine-pound shot put through the air and pumped her fists in the air as her fellow track and field participants applauded.

Fort Bragg's Family and Moral, Welfare and Recreation held its annual Spring Intramural Track and Field Meet April 19 through 26 at Hedrick Stadium. Among the different running events, the meet also included shot put, discus, javelin, and the long jump.

Cook placed third in the women's shot put, long jump and 100-yard dash events, first in the javelin event, and second in the triple jump. She also placed first in the women's 800-yard run and second in the three mile run. "(Cook) was the team leader in getting all of us to participate in the meet," said Carlos Joya, a co-worker of Cook's from the 100th Engineer Company. "She was the main reason I came out," Joya said.

"This is my last year in the Army," said Cook. "I wanted to got out with a bang and help promote unit cohesion and support my company."

Supporting friends, co-workers, and MWR seemed to be the motivation behind competing in the meet. Kelly Rex watched the event last year and said she was motivated to participate this year by friend and co-worker, Awdwin Lindsay. Lindsay, an Army retiree, participates in the meet every year and used to compete in track and field during high school.

"I came out here to keep the program going and stay active," said Lindsay. "I like the camaraderie amongst the participants."

Celeste Hedrington, who placed first in the women's shot put event, discus and triple jump, admitted this is the first time she's done track and field events since 2000 when she was stationed in Korea.

"I wish more people would come out here," she said. "It seriously relieves stress from work!"
In other events, Perry Scott took first place in the men's 100-yard dash, sprinting to the finish line with a time of 9.85, while Phillip Blackwell finished second with a clock showing of 10.37. In the women's 100 yard, speedster Bernadette Knox ran to a 12.8-second first-place finish while Kelly Rex trailed close with a time of 14.01.

Alphonse Turner turned on the jets and topped the field in the men's 220-yard dash. Turner's time of 22.18, was trailed by Phillips' 24.52, which was good for second place.

In the women's event, Knox finished first with a time of 30.5, while Rex finished second at 37.19.
James McDermott finished the three-mile race with a time of 16 minutes, 16 seconds, which was good for first place. Eder Bennett finished second with a time of 17:53.

Donna Palisca finished first in the women's three-mile run with a time of 17:44. Jessica Cook finished second with a clock showing of 35:42.

The team from the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group took first place in the mile relay. The team covered the distance in a time of 3:45.

In the field events, Ryan Green took first place in the men's shot put, tossing the iron sphere to a distance of 38 feet, 6 inches. Scott Jacobus finished second with a distance of 37 feet, 9 inches. For the women, Celest Hedrington tossed the shot at distance of 26 feet, 9 inches. Tamika Mackins finished second, reaching a distance of 23 feet, 6 inches.

In the men's javelin, Jacobus got revenge by topping Green for first place. Jacobus' throw of 109 feet, 8 inches was more than 20 feet farther than Green's 89 feet, 2 inches, which was good for second place. In the women's javelin, Jessica Cook took first with a throw of 41 feet. She was followed by Mackin, who threw a 35 foot toss.

Quinton Shelton's long jump of 19 feet, 3 inches earned him a first place finish, while men's runner-up Peter Collins finished with a distance of 13 feet, 5 inches. In the women's event, Knox finished first with a 12 feet, one-inch leap, while Hedrington finished second by jumping 11 feet, 7 inches.