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Clarkson Army ROTC Takes First Place in Ranger Challenge

[A photograph for media use is available at]

Clarkson University's Army ROTC Ranger Challenge Team finished first out of 21 teams in this year's competition held at Fort Devens, Mass., in October.

The team's focus and hard work was rewarded with the strong win, said Cadet Mike McLaughlin, the Ranger team captain. "The support of the underclassmen that didn't make the team but traveled to the competition allowed the team to focus on each event. It was truly a team effort." ranger-challenge-2007

First-place finishes in basic rifle marksmanship, night land navigation, the field leadership reaction course, and the hand grenade assault course and second-place finishes in day land navigation, assembly and disassembly of the M16, and the obstacle course gave the team a lead that made the final event, the physical fitness test, irrelevant to the outcome of the competition.

All team members are enrolled in the Army ROTC program at Clarkson University, and include:

Clarkson University senior Michael P. McLaughlin of Evans Mills, N.Y., interdisciplinary engineering & management; junior Jason W. Burgess of Wolcott, N.Y., civil engineering; junior Michael G. Frisone of Rexford, N.Y., civil engineering; junior Michael J. Ives of Ogdensburg, N.Y., interdisciplinary engineering & management; sophomore Dylan J. Morphet of Stattsburg, N.Y., civil engineering; sophomore Brandon C. Hunneyman of Redwood, N.Y., business; sophomore Matthew G. Wagner of Lancaster, Pa., business; and freshman Mark P. Lucas of Penn Yan, N.Y., civil engineering.

And SUNY Canton junior Gunnar Gramlich of Fort Ann, N.Y., emergency management.

Cadets who traveled to support the team were:

Clarkson University freshman Colby Sortevik of Pembroke, N.H., mechanical engineering; senior Andrew T. Gaffield of LaFayette, N.Y., mechanical engineering; senior William C. Toft of Berkeley Heights, N.J., environmental engineering; freshman Philip R. Ables of Williamsville, N.Y., engineering & management; freshman Charles G. Rugg of Penfield, N.Y., civil engineering; and freshman Geoffrey B. Vantine of Moretown, Vt., university studies.

The team was coached by Captain David Whitt and Major Bill Prayner;

Among the 21 teams competing in this year's Ranger Challenge were cadets from Cornell University, the University of Massachusetts, Northeastern University, and RIT. Clarkson was able to finish ahead of archrivals Norwich, Syracuse University, and Boston University.

Photo caption: Clarkson University's Army ROTC Ranger Challenge Team finished first out of 21 teams in this year's competition held at Fort Devens, Mass., in October. ROTC cadets and team members who attended the event are: left to right (kneeling) Patrick Knight, Michael J Ives, Jason Burgess, Matthew Wagner, Mark Lucas, Danny Cunningham, Michael McLaughlin; (standing) Michael Frisone, Colby Sortevik, David Tiedeman, Gunnar Gramlich, Brandon Hunneyman, Andrew Gaffield, William Toft, Philip Ables, Charles Rugg, Geoffrey Vantine, and Dylan Morphet.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty members achieve international recognition for their research and scholarship and connect students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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