By Jim DresbachOctober 26, 2012
One of the most cherished trophies among servicemember athletes is the Army Ten-Miler trophy. The ATM trophy depicts a mini-sculpture of a bald eagle displaying its massive wing span.
The prize, affectionately called "the bird" by the Fort Myer Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Directorate staff, does have a home on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
Eight eagles already are perched in the fitness center lobby.
After all the times were tabulated from the 28th annual Army Ten-Miler held Oct. 21, an additional bird, the ninth overall, has settled into the Fort Myer nest.
A combination of net times compiled by the Sergeants Major Fort Myer team outdid all the other E-9 squads assembled during the ten-mile run. The combined net times of James Bodecker, David Brundage, Henrik Iversen and David Turnbull equaled four hours, 52 minutes and 54 seconds, which was good enough to re-claim the ATM Sergeants Major Team title.
The official net times of the top four were 1:08:28 for Bodecker; 1:09:09 for Brundage; Iversen posted a 1:16:00 net time and Turnbull's 1:19:19 provided a solid final clocking. Other Sgt. Maj. Team members included John Dudas (1:24:17), Phillip Cantrell (1:26:09), Jeffrey Stitzel (1:28:12) and Von Auna (1:38:03).
Bodecker, the command sergeant major at 1/3 battalion (The Old Guard), had a simple approach in handling competition on a course which started and ended at the Pentagon and traversed across the Potomac River and into Washington D.C.
"I just try to pass the person in front of me," he said after the team was informed they had won the team title inside the Hooah tent area at around 10:45 a.m. "We were lucky to put together a good team."
It was a return to the winner's circle for the Fort Myer Sergeants Major team. That configuration of active duty runners last won ATM crowns in back-to-back years in 2009 and 2010.
"We knew we had a great chance at getting that trophy back," JBM-HH FMWR staff member and Fort Myer team organizer Brandon Lamberson said.
Before the official results were posted, Lamberson polled and tallied unofficial times and dissected trophy prospects among the seven Fort Myer teams.
"I have to go from runner to runner and listen to their times to see if it is competitive with last year's or previous year's," Lamberson said. "Our Sergeants Major team's top four times are better than last year's. Some of our guys are thinking they posted personal records. We are competitive in three categories, and in those three, I'm hearing very good things. It is such a great day [for running], everybody is having good times."
A speedy pace and low times were evident among the elite pacesetters. While two Fort Myer team members cracked the sub-60-min. barrier, Antonio Eppolito at :59:06 and Maximilian Flor who breezed to the finish in :59:38, the overall winners were Tesfaye Senedeku-Alemyeho (:47:48) and women's champ Kerri Gallagher (:56:09). The Fort Myer team members were impressed with the split times the leaders produced as Senedeku-Alemyeho churned out a four minute and 54 second mile average.
"Those guys are out of my league, but it was inspirational watching them run at the turnaround," said Fort Myer runner Jesse Tubb, who posted a net clocking of one hour and 59 seconds. "They were sprinting out a mile ahead of me like it was nothing. There are 30,000 people out here, and we're all suffering, but then you see people racing in wheelchairs and with prosthetic legs, and I'll say I'm hurting now but it will end in an hour, and I'll be fine. But some people have to live [with suffering] longer than an hour."
Also claiming top three team finishes were the Fort Myer Active Duty Masters Women team, which placed second, and the Active Duty Masters Men squad which placed third.
The Active Duty Masters females team included Dana Reid (1:17:24), Laura Trinkle (1:21:31), Katherine Scoffield (1:26:52), Karen Meeker (1:20:23), Dana Pieper (1:23:16) and Brenda Brockington (1:44:00). The male Fort Myer Masters team consisted of Eppolito, Chris Brock (1:02:15), Michael Creadon (1:09:49), Scott Weinhold (1:08:14), Todd Little (1:05:38), Matthew Anderson (1:10:00), Ray Matthews (1:05:16) and Dirk Plante. Both masters teams were awarded top-three finishing plaques.
The international cup was won by the All Army Team while wounded warrior and wheelchair championships went to John Faulkenberry (1:03:49) and Scot Seiss (:29:45).