Students and faculty pushed their bodies to the limit by taking part in a Marine fitness challenge at the Aiken High School football field Tuesday morning.
Members of the Aiken and Augusta Marine Recruiting Station created and led a modified Marine Corps combat fitness course.
Teams of 10 pushed themselves to compete in the physically tense course, which included a ¼-mile relay race followed by a maneuver-under-fire drill.
The drill represented an under-fire military situation.
Participants had to sprint and crawl, as well as move a person representing a casualty, carrying them on their back, and carry ammo boxes to simulate resupplying a firing line with ammo.
Sgt. Cameron Barry, with the Aiken and Augusta Marine Recruiting Station, said the physical challenge was a positive experience for all students, not just those who are considering going into the military.
"For them to start to learn what their limits are, what they can do with those limits and how to push beyond, I think that will help not just in the physical part of the world but also in their educational experiences and the kind of career choices they go on in life," Barry said.
Barry was also happy to see AHS faculty were competing.
Aiken High Principal Jason Holt was excited to participate alongside students from both Aiken High and South Aiken High School.
Holt said he was hoping to break some personal records on the course.
"I'm glad to have an opportunity to participate in something with the kids, specifically things that help us be exposed to the great things our armed forces do, but educational as well," Holt said. "The military not only does things that keep our country safe, but they also advocate for our student's educational process."
Principal Holt finishes the marines’ “military under fire” drill. pic.twitter.com/5b28lxFPE8— 🦃📰 Matthew Enfinger📰🦃 (@matt_enfinger) November 26, 2019
Although competition was apparent, camaraderie was shown when teams and students in the stands would continue to cheer on each other.
In the end, one team stood out among the rest.
A team of Aiken High's baseball players won first place with the best time in completing each course.
"We all just came out here and gave it our all," Aiken High senior and baseball player Jake Hibbitts said. "I love these guys. We always work hard, and that's why we're the best team in Aiken County."
Although the faculty came in second, Holt was honored to experience the camaraderie the event created.
"What a wonderful energy from both schools and one city to come together to bring some competition but also some camaraderie amongst the city," Holt said. "I really feel fortunate to have both schools participating in an event to bring us together. Especially after seeing this, I hope this is an annual event."