YARS drill team wins national competition

The drill team at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna won a national drill team title in Dayton after three days of competition.

It is the first time a team from Ohio has won the National Cadet Competition and the team’s name, 051 Drill Team, will be inscribed on the Air Force Chief of Staff Sweepstakes Award Trophy on permanent display at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.

The drill team competition consists of in-ranks inspection, standard drill, innovative drill, a written examination, panel quiz, a volleyball tournament and a team mile run.

Originally it was announced at the awards ceremony that the Youngstown team came in a very close second-place finish overall. However, a week later the competition staff uncovered a scoring error that changed the overall standings, which then placed Youngstown as national co-champions with the Tennessee Wing Drill Team. The Tennessee team was comprised of top cadets from squadrons all over the state of Tennessee, whereas the Youngstown team is solely made up of cadets from the local Youngstown ARS Composite Squadron, which meets weekly at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna.

Also competing were top teams from California, Colorado, New Jersey and North Carolina. All teams had to win first place in their respective states and regions in order to make it to the national level.

Coached by Civil Air Patrol Maj. William Hrinko, Jr. and First Lt. Diana Beatty, the team has been training for the past eight months.

Team members are Cadet Maj. Megan Beatty of Austintown, Cadet 2nd Lt. Vanessa Betz of Greenville, Cadet Staff Sgt. Matthew Chamberlain of Wellsville, Cadet Capt. Emily Conroy of Canfield, Cadet 2nd Lt. Caleb Durfee of Salem, Cadet Airman 1st Class Christian Durfee of Salem, Cadet Capt. Nathaniel Forrider of Leetonia, Cadet Tech. Sgt. Michael Gentile of Niles, Cadet Tech. Sgt. Brian Haight of Salem, Cadet Lt. Col. Aubry Lindauer of McDonald, Cadet Staff Sgt. Ethan Lint of Cortland, Cadet Airman 1st Class Cyrel Newcome of Salem, Cadet Tech. Sgt. Connor O’Kane of Poland, and Cadet 1st Lt. Austen Peters of Poland.  Cadet Staff Sgt. Brian Hunter Jr. of Brookfield was on the team at the state and region level. Forrider served as the team commander, leading the team through all seven events.

The team won first place in the written exam, standard drill and volleyball. It was their second straight undefeated volleyball season.

Second-place finishes were earned in innovative drill and the mile run. Rounding out the competition was a third-place finish in inspection and a fifth-place finish in the panel quiz. In addition to the team events, awards were given to the individual top scorers on the written exam and mile run.  Cadet Tech. Sgt. Brian Haight won male fleet foot with a mile time of 5:13.2. He also won this award for fastest mile at the state and regional competitions.

It is the fifth consecutive year that the Youngstown Drill Team has made it to the national competition. Last year, they finished second at the national event.

The Youngstown Squadron has competition teams for CyberPatriot (Cyber Defense), Color Guard and Drill Team. Civil Air Patrol membership is open to youth between 12 and 18 years of age.

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