5th and 6th Regiments physical test easy for some, proves challenging for others
Although the sun was set to rise at 6:20 Saturday, the Cadets of the Leadership Development and Assessment Course Bravo Company 5th Regiment never saw it. The hazy fog engulfed the half-mile long track around the Army Physical Fitness Test site and kept the temperature at 72 degrees.
The test began earlier than the Cadets expected it would, and there was notable tension and silence as they were briefed on the events. The buddy system was set aside for the duration of the test, but Cadets continued to encourage one another throughout.
“If you have 10 seconds left in the push-ups and you wanna quit, just say ‘get some,’” Master Sgt. Slater told the Cadets who were to complete as many push-ups and sit-ups with proper form in two minutes.
“You’re MS3s (third year Cadets), most of you,” Slater said. “You’ve done these. You’ve probably done 10 of them. So relax. This isn’t any different from the PT tests you do at your university.”
Cadet Aren Keklik of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginiafinished the push-up and sit-up portion pleased with his results.
“I maxed push-ups and sit-ups so I’m happy with myself,” he said. “I was most scared about push-ups.”
His unofficial numbers settled at 76 push-ups and 86 sit-ups. He anticipated running six-minute miles.
Cadet Soomin Jung from UCLA said she also maxed both push-ups and sit-ups and actually fared better than she had expected.
“Run is my most anxious one so I’m very nervous,” she said shortly before blending into a sea of blue jerseys and lined up to start the run.
The run consisted of four laps to make the two-mile distance. The first Cadet to finish a lap clocked a 2:22 half mile.
Most were confident they would succeed, while some feared the worst – failure, and ultimately repeating the test in the following days.
Bravo Company 6th Regiment mirrored motions from the previous morning’s test. Missing only the fog, the Cadets marched into the test site ready to dominate the APFT.
Cadet Luke Sandersfeld from Minnesota State University said he was pumped and had extremely high energy. He came prepared for
“I worked out almost every day once college got done,” he said. “Once I got to Fort Knox, I’ve been trying to work out with my battle buddies, just do something little – do some push-ups, sit-ups, a little jog. Just keep our muscles warm, ya know; keep the blood flowing.”
Sandersfeld managed 84 push-ups and 90 sit-ups. He anticipated completing the run in under 12 minutes.
Overall, the Cadet thought LDAC would be more challenging. So far, it’s been fairly relaxed.
“Except when you’re in leadership,” he said. “I mean yesterday was the first day I got leadership so it got a little bit more stressful, a little bit less sleep, but overall, I’d say better than I thought.”
Cadet Luke Ranum from Kansas State University was first to cross the finish line of the run. Although he runs track at his university, he said he used his experience with ROTC to prepare himself.
“You just gotta calm yourself down, just gotta use the practice you got from the past,” he said. “At our school we do it about 10 times, so it’s just about keeping cool and confident. Just trust yourself and trust your training you’ve done.”
When asked if he had expected to finish the run first, Ranum laughed.
“Uh, no,” he said. “I always expect it to be someone who’s better than me.”