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UK Wins ROTC Ten-Miler


Of the record 59 ROTC teams and more than 400 cadets running in the 26th annual Army Ten-Miler on Oct. 24, University of Kentucky came out on top, with an overall time of four hours, 12 minutes and four seconds.

After last year’s Washington D.C.-based run, in which UK's first formal team received fourth place, cadets intensified training and sought improvement.

"We came in with first place on our mind, and that was it," said senior and team captain Ben Skaggs. “We wanted to represent our school well." Times were determined by adding the finishes of each team’s top four members.

Skaggs attributed the team’s success to Lieutenant Colonel Jason Cummins, UK professor of Military Science, who pushed to start the official running group two years ago. His guidance and motivation drove cadets to hone their ability.

"He’s the reason we do this, and we run for him," Skaggs said.

The experience of running last year’s race was pivotal, according to Skaggs. UK runners approached the race with a strategy: follow each other through the pack at the start, stay together and pace each other for the first four miles and then hit their own individual strides the rest of the way.

"I’m extremely proud of the entire team," said Cummins. "After finishing fourth at last year’s competition, the team showed remarkable resolve and discipline in their approach to training and preparing for this year’s race. 
"They motivate each other to push past pre-conceived limits and achieve personal bests," Cummins added. "In a larger context, that’s the exact type of mentality we want to cultivate among our junior leaders in the U.S. Army."
Only two individual ROTC runners, among the 30,000 total competitors from around the world, finished the course in less than an hour. UK's Ahunuar Huerta posted a 59.24.

The Army Ten-Miler is among the largest races in the country. Starting and ending at the Pentagon, the course crosses the Potomac River, running along the National Mall to loop around the U.S. Capitol building, forming a 10-mile circuit.