Medal winners Jasmin Suppon and Rayne Yang
North Branch Area High School Air Force JROTC Viking Cadets Rayne Yang and Jasmin Suppon earned medals at the National All-Service High School Junior ROTC Drill Team Championships in Daytona Beach, Florida on May 6. Yang, 5th, and Suppon, 10th, earned national medals during the Unarmed Knockout Drill Competition where they went head to head against 200 of the nation’s best cadets, executing precision drill movements under the watchful eye of more than 20 drill sergeant judges. In addition, Viking Cadet Jennifer Gonzales placed an impressive 15th in Armed Knockout Drill.
In their first year of fielding a complete drill team at Nationals, the Viking Cadets placed11th overall in its division. The Viking Color Guard Team led the way with an exceptional 9th place finish. Other team placings include: 11th place Unarmed Exhibition Drill, 12th place Unarmed Commander Trophy (Jennifer Gonzales), 13th place Unarmed Team Inspection and Unarmed Regulation Drill.
Other Viking Cadets who competed in specialty events were Lily Roderick and Mars Lairson. They competed in Dual Unarmed Exhibition Drill where both cadets executed multiple high-energy drill movements in sync with each other. Viking Jennifer Gonzales and Paul Boelk each competed in Solo Armed Exhibition Drill where they performed multiple drill movements while spinning and throwing their rifles. “Our solo and dual exhibition teams gave their best performances of the year!,” said Colonel Paul Johnson.
This year’s team consisted of Paul Boelk, Aidan Elwood, Jennifer Gonzales, Brianna Hendren, Violet Hood, Mars Lairson, Brianna McBride, Hailey Payne, Carter Peterson, Lily Roderick, Jasmin Suppon, Carrie Xiong, Emmanuela Yang, Rayne Yang, and Vincent Zaccardi.
The NBAHS Air Force JROTC National Drill Team
“It is incredibly exciting to see our cadets earn three top 10 finishes at the National All-Service High School Junior ROTC Drill Championships in only our third year competing at this level. In addition, I cannot overstate the significance of Jasmin and Rayne's accomplishments, said Col. Johnson, adding, “To medal at the All-Service National JROTC High School Championships is an incredible achievement at the national level! We can all be extremely proud of our team's performance on the highest High School competitive stage in the country!”
The Viking Air Force JROTC Drill Team was the only qualifying team from Minnesota to compete in this year’s competition. The National All-Service High School Junior ROTC Drill Championships hosted over 120 schools and over 2,000 cadets.