Fort Riley’s Long Fitness Center served as host to a two-day combatives tournament Nov. 29 and 30. The event was the first in a series intended to reinvigorate Fort Riley’s combatives program.
About 50 competitors from across the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley competed for victories in eight weight classes.
According to Stephanie Kline, a member on the division’s combatives team and the only female instructor on the tournament’s staff, the post tournaments not only ensure the competitors are remaining physically fit, but they also build camaraderie.
“This tournament (went) very well. We’ve had a great turn-out,” said Kline, a specialist with 601st Aviation Support Battalion, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Inf. Div. “I just love the atmosphere of the competition. You’re training all day (in preparation), so you get a sense of purpose from the competition.”
The atmosphere and camaraderie of the event was exactly what drew Spc. Christina Walton, 172nd Chemical Company, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Inf. Div., to the event, she said.
The unit had three Soldiers competing, which included a first-place finish by Spc. Darren Barnett in the 155-pound weight class.
“Every time there’s a competition here on post, we come out to support our guys,” Walton said.
The competition also serves as platform for the participants to represent the division and Fort Riley at the all-Army tournament next year, said Maj. Ivy Williams, 1st Inf. Div. training office.
Plans are underway for the division to host its next combatives tournament in January.
By Stephanie Hoff
1st Inf. Div. Public Affairs
Sgt. Michael Leverton | 1st Inf. Div.
Spc. Corry Heath-Miller, 2nd ABCT, matches up against Spc. Juan Marcial, 101st BSB, 1st ABCT, in the 170-pound weight class Nov. 29 at Long Fitness Center.
Sgt. Christopher Hensley, 300th MP Co., 97th MP Bn., left, receives his pre-fight inspection and brief from Combatives Instructor, Sgt. Israel Lopez, DHHB, right, Nov. 29 at Long Fitness Center. Hensley competed in the 185-pound category during the two-day combative tournament that took place Nov. 29 and 30.