Finding First Place

The ROTC girls orienteering team uses coordinates to find a way out of a military base


Janelle De Jesus, Staff Writer

On Feb 12 the girls orienteering team competed at Camp Bullis where they left with first place under their belts. The girls team is made up of seniors Pyper Wright,  Agatha Martinez, and Sinead Williams, and junior Marina Garcia. The girls spent a total of 90 minutes on a military base looking at maps and navigating to find out where to go and how to continue on further into the competition.


“You’re pretty much thrown into the woods with a map and a compass and told to ‘figure it out,’” senior Agatha Martinez said. “Except in our case it was a military base, so I guess we were lucky. It was still equally challenging though, that’s for sure.” 


The competition was considered the orienteering type, or OT, meaning that they had to use coordinates and maps to locate certain places to advance themselves deeper into the competition. OT is a difficult task that not everyone can manage to do calmly. One of the biggest elements of succeeding in competition like this is staying calm. These types of competitions are ones that require a certain amount of patience to be successful. 


“The only way to be successful in a competition like this is to have a strategy,” junior Marina Garcia said. “Everyone on your team has a different level of endurance and are wearing big combat boots, so without a plan of action you aren’t getting anywhere.” 


One thing that makes OT simpler for these girls is their ability to work together. It can be very difficult to work together in such a highly stressful situation. When being thrown into a base or the woods with only a map and a compass there are many things that can go wrong. The competition requires being physically fit and having a high endurance. Your team can split up entirely, and it is up to the girls’ skills to come back together.


“Everyone on the team is a different person,” Sinead Williams said. “So what makes a good team is understanding everyone’s different roles, strengths, and weaknesses. If you want to be successful you need that line of communication between members open at all costs.” 


While ROTC competitions take a lot of physical fitness, strong mentalities, and a lot of working together; it is very rewarding. Out of 24 girls teams, our girls came out on top, bringing  first place home. The girls put all of their smarts together to overpower other teams and cross the finish line together one last time before their final competition. 


“The hardest part of these types of competition are the fact that you have to start and end together,” senior Pyper Wright said. “Sure you can split up, but we don’t win until we cross together as a team, because ultimately you’re only truly successful when you’re with your teammates.” 


We wish the very best to all these girls as they prepare for their final competition on Feb. 29.