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Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

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High school students show strength at Youth Physical Fitness Competition

By Lance Cpl. Edward R. Guevara Jr. | | April 09, 2004

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- School representatives from all over Recruiting Station San Diego's territory gathered on the soccer field at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego for the 2004 Regional Youth Physical Fitness Competition April 3.

Mar Vista High School continued their legacy by taking first and second place in both boy's and girl's competition.

Although they took top honors for the region, they did not all qualify for the national competition. Boys were required to get 1,875 points and girls were required to get 1,250.

The pride of Mar Vista was their first place girl's team, which qualified with 1,258 points.

The lady "Mariners" were the only team to qualify in the competition out of the 17 boy and girl teams.

Regional competition is a preliminary event to qualify teams for the National Youth Physical Fitness Competition.

The national event is held here annually.

Each team was made up of five high school students, all under the age of 20.

Various Junior ROTC programs were represented including the Marine Corps, Navy, Army and Air Force.

The program promotes self-improvement of the country's youth in a physical, moral and mental manner, according to RS San Diego.

Eligible schools for the regional competition ranged from Las Vegas to San Bernardino, out to El Centro and down to Chula Vista.

The majority of the teams came from San Diego County schools. Some use this event to test themselves for other competitions or prepare their teams to compete next year.

James Madison High School's Army Junior ROTC cadets placed third in the boys' bracket. They used this event as preparation for an Army cadet challenge they will be hosting in the near future, according to retired Army 1st Sgt. Theodore Jenkins an advisor from Madison.

Unqualified teams will work on their skills in preparation for next year's competition.

"Our goal was to break 1,300 and we scored 1,280," said retired Col. Robert. E. Jackson, senior Marine instructor, Sweetwater High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC. "We graduated a lot of guys last year and most of the students this year are participating for the first time.

"This is a rebuilding year for us and we hope to use this as a starting point."

Although the teams had a tough time this year, they were in high spirits after the event when they received prizes from RS San Diego at the awards ceremony.

The ladies of Mar Vista will go on to represent the region at the 2004 National Youth Physical Fitness Championship from May 19 to 22.

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