Oak Harbor NJROTC takes first at regional meet

The team finished the drill and rifle competitive season with a first place win March 26.

The Oak Harbor High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps finished the drill and rifle competitive season with a first place win March 26, at a regional meet at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, according to a press memo from the team.

Oak Harbor NJROTC has finished in the top three at this meet for the past 13 years, securing first place wins in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018 and now, 2022, and placing second in 2015, 2017, and 2019. The program had seven teams and 5 individuals qualify during the regular season to compete.

The Northwest Drill and Rifle Conference consists of 33 JROTC units from all services at schools from Oak Harbor to Oregon City. There are four divisions in the conference, and only the top three teams in each class qualify for the regional meet.

Oak Harbor’s team was the Olympic Division Champion, so it qualified to participate. In total, 28 schools competed. Approximately 900 cadets were involved with the meet.

In its team competitions, Oak Harbor NJROTC won first place in armed drill, dual unarmed exhibition drill and sporter air rifle; second place in unarmed drill, dual armed exhibition drill, physical fitness and precision air rifle; third place in academics; and fifth place in color guard.

Several individuals were also awarded medals for placing in the top six in their respective competitions. Kyle Eckles won first place as the armed drill team commander. Alexis Kunze won first place in precision air rifle. Brianna Richard won sixth place is precision air rifle. Anissa Randolph won first place in sporter air rifle. Jaedine Cabigting won second place in sporter air rifle. Jermaine Denmon won third place in sporter air rifle.

Overall the drill meet went very well, Chief William Thiel and Commander Vince Quidachay reported, expressing their pride in how their cadets competed and in the sportsmanship they displayed. Leaving the high school at 5:45 a.m. and returning at 8:30 p.m. made for a long day, they said, but it was worth it knowing that the early morning practices that started in September at 5:45 a.m. finally paid off.

NJROTC has the longest season of any other extra-curricular activity in the school. Competing against the best cadets in the Northwest Drill and Rifle Conference JROTC units is a huge honor for all of Oak Harbor’s cadets.