Viking AFJROTC cadet Gabriell Hanson placed 10th in the nation in the Unarmed Knockout Drill Competition at the National Joint Service High School Junior ROTC Drill Team Championships in Daytona Beach, Florida. She was also the top AFJROTC finisher. She is pictured with her 10th place medal.
North Branch Area High School Viking Cadet Gabriell Hanson earned an outstanding 10th place medal at the National Joint Service High School Junior ROTC Drill Team Championships in Daytona Beach, Florida on April 15. Hanson earned her medal during the Unarmed Knockout Drill Competition where she went head to head against 150 of the nation’s best cadets, executing precision drill movements under the watchful eye of more than 20 drill sergeant judges. Of note, Hanson was the top Air Force Junior ROTC finisher. In addition, Viking Cadet Ella Tracy placed just outside of the medals in 11th place.
The NBAHS AFJROTC national team (l to r): Jennifer Gonzales, Lindsey Meizo, Lily Roderick, Elise Johnson, Ella Tracy, Brianna Hendren, Gabi Hanson.
The Viking Guard Color Guard Team placed an exceptional 9th place in its Open Color Guard Division, improving upon their 12th place finish from last year. Cadet Brianna Hendren commanded this year’s team as she carried the American Flag. She led the Color Guard Team through more than 150 separate movements while being evaluated by four drill sergeants/military judges on both precision and technical proficiency of each movement. The rest of the team included Cadet Lindsey Meizo carrying the Air Force Flag, and Cadets Gabriell Hanson and Jennifer Gonzales carrying rifles.
Colonel Paul Johnson stated, “It is incredibly exciting to see our cadets earn two top 10 finishes at the National Joint Service High School Junior ROTC Drill Championships in only our second year competing at this level. Our cadets have worked extremely hard to get here, putting in over 300 hours of preparation, and their efforts really paid off this year.”
Other Viking Cadets who competed were Ella Tracy and Lily Roderick. They competed in Dual Unarmed Exhibition Drill where both cadets executed multiple high-energy drill movements in sync with each other. Viking Jennifer Gonzales competed in Solo Armed Exhibition Drill where she performed multiple drill movements while spinning and throwing her rifle. Colonel Johnson stated that both exhibition teams gave their best performances of the year.
Jennifer Gonzales performing her solo armed exhibition routine.
This year’s National Joint Service High School Junior ROTC Drill Championships hosted over 90 schools and over 1,500 cadets.