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By Daniel C. Houston
Army ROTC defeated Air Force ROTC Wednesday to win the President’s Cup, a highly coveted trophy awarded to the winner of a series of grueling competitive events.
President Ken Starr announced the results after the event at the Hart-Patterson Track and Field Complex and awarded the cup to Army battalion Cmdr. Brian Crookshank, senior from Hackettstown, N.J.
“Last year Air Force won,” Crookshank said, “so this year we came out with our A-game and we won the trophy back. Both teams did very well in all the competitions. It’s always fun working together [and having] friendly competition. I’m glad we won it. I think we deserved it this year; we gave it our best shot.”
Army teams walked away with overall victories in tug-of-war, sprints, soccer, push-ups and sit-ups, and the sand crawl. Air Force won the ultimate frisbee matches and hula-hoop races. The final score was Army 101, Air Force 61.
Starr told the Lariat after the award ceremony that he was honored to be asked to attend and praised all participants.
“They make Baylor proud, and they make me proud,” Starr said. “The discipline, the focus — extraordinary. They should all be proud. And I’m very proud of them for their willingness to serve our country. So this is both Baylor-proud and America-proud.”
Although the event was called the Commander’s Cup in years past, Starr’s appearance prompted the organizers to rename this year’s competition the President’s Cup, according to Army Cadet Staff Sgt. Lauren Amato.
“It’s just a really big deal, President Starr taking time out of his day, especially this late in the evening, to be a part of our event,” Amato, a junior from Fishersville, Va., said.
In addition to the trophy, Army and Air Force cadets compete against each other annually for bragging rights. Although Air Force Cadet Wing Cmdr. Mandy King, Cibolo senior, was disappointed by the outcome of this year’s competition, she said she is happy with the effort her squads displayed.
“Ultimately,” King said, “what we look for is everybody putting a 110 percent effort, and to do their best, and to be good sports, and interact with Army and get to know them, because ultimately we’re going to serve alongside them very closely in the military. So this is a great place to start building those bonds.” But King’s positive take on this year’s competition doesn’t mean she is shying away from bold predictions on behalf of her Air Force team. “Next year, the President’s Cup is ours,” she said. “We’re getting it back.”