U.S. Marines from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River competed in the fifth annual High Intensity Tactical Training (HITT) Competition preliminaries this past Friday, June 28 for a chance to go on to represent their installation at the weeklong HITT Championship at MCB Quantico, Sept. 9-13.
The men’s competition at MCB Camp Lejeune was a close one with 1st Lt. Tyler Watkins of the 2D Radio Battalion beating Staff Sgt. Mitchell Burchett by just two points, 72-70. Sgt. Steven Bradley’s 58 points were good enough for third. In the women’s division, Sgt. Abigail Eggleston finished first and Lance Cpl. Francesca Hansuld placed second.
At the New River HITT prelims, Lance Cpl. Reginald Parker placed first overall in the men’s division while Lance Cpl. Ronald Featherling took second and Sgt. Evan Littlefield came in third. Gunnery Sgt. Smathe Toles won first in the female division as Sgt. Samantha Steverson got second.
Points in HITT competitions are earned and accumulated depending on the Marine’s result in performance assessments which include the vertical jump, a 25-yard sprint, max deadlift, max pull ups and a 300-yard run.
The grand finale of the HITT prelim was a 300-yard tactical shuttle that put the Marines’ strength and endurance to the test. Marines pulled a sled with 45 pounds on it 50 yards before adding 45 more pounds to the sled and pulling it back 50 yards. Next, they fireman carried a 90-pound sandbag while zig-zagging 50 yards down and sprinting 50 yards back where they dropped the sandbag and picked up two 50-pound kettle bells they carried while completing the grueling final 100 yards.
Camp Lejeune HITT program coordinator Raymond Anderson, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, said that the main reasons for high intensity tactical training are to get Marines combat ready and to help with injury prevention.
“I’d say the best part about this job is seeing Marines get better as far as combat readiness, improving their power and strength and keeping them injury free,” Anderson said. “Keeping them injury free is going to be the most crucial part of being able to sustain their mission.”
2019 HITT Competition Preliminary Results:
1st - 1st Lt. Tyler Watkins
2nd - SSgt. Mitchell Burchett
3rd - Sgt. Steven Bradley
1st - Sgt. Abigail Eggleston
2nd - LCpl. Francesca Hansuld
1st - LCpl. Reginald Parker
2nd - LCpl. Ronald Featherling
3rd - Sgt. Evan Littlefield
1st - GySgt. Smathe Toles
2nd - Sgt. Samantha Steverson