Eight Marines from MCB Camp Lejeune, MCAS New River competed; Gunnery Sgt. Toles won Motivational Award
A Marine from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune finished third at the fifth-annual High Intensity Tactical Training (HITT) Championship, which was held on MCB Quantico from Sept. 9-12.
1st Lt. Tyler Watkins, a signals intelligence officer serving as the assistant operations officer with the 2nd Radio Battalion, MCB Camp Lejeune, won Camp Lejeune’s HITT Competition Preliminary in June, earning a spot in the HITT Championship on MCB Quantico where he took third overall amongst the male Marines who participated.
Other male Marines representing Camp Lejeune at the HITT Championship with Watkins were Staff Sgt. Mitchell Burchett, runner-up in Camp Lejeune’s prelim, Sgt. Steven Bradley, who got third in the prelim, and Capt. Billy Van Vianen. Sgt. Abigail Eggleston, an imagery analyst with the 2nd Marine Logistics Group who won Camp Lejeune’s female prelim in June, also participated in the championship.
The competition consisted of seven challenges over the course of four days. Challenges included combat fitness tests, live-fires, weighted vests runs, combat swimming, obstacle courses and pugil stick bouts. The purpose of HITT is to develop and maintain the physical resiliency and combat readiness of Marines through pre-designed workouts that include pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment phases.
At the 2019 HITT Championship, Sgt. Kevin Fisch of MCB Camp Pendleton took first place in the men's division for the second year in a row as Sgt. Antony Gates of 29 Palms finished second. In the women's division, Cpl. Alexandra Martin of MCB Camp Butler in Okinawa was the top finisher as Capt. Stefanie Allen of MCB Quantico got second. 1st Lt. Frances Moore of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni finished third.
Lance Cpl. Reginald Parker and Gunnery Sgt. Smathe Toles, MCAS New River’s preliminary champions, competed as well. Toles was given the Motivational Award, which is voted on by the athletes to recognize the competitor who pushed and motivated the other competitors the most.
Sgt. Samantha Steverson of Marine Wing Support Squadron 272 also made the trip to MCB Quantico for her second HITT Championship. Sgt. Miguel Aguirre and Sgt. Lashawna Wilson represented MCAS Cherry Point.
Preliminary winners and wildcards from each installation across the Marine Corps were invited to compete for a HITT title. In total, 38 Marines competed.
West Virginia University also partnered with the HITT Championship for a biometric study of the competitors. The study included questionnaires, heart rate variability tracking and sleep tracking among other evaluations and points of focus.