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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Middle school gets Marine Corps fitness challenge

By Cpl. Derrick K. Irions | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | April 03, 2013

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Marines lend a hand and some muscle to a group of students during a tug-of-war competition at Jefferson Middle School, March 29. Camp Pendleton’s Single Marine Program and Marine volunteers tested a pilot fitness challenge to promote physical education while giving back to the community.

Marines lend a hand and some muscle to a group of students during a tug-of-war competition at Jefferson Middle School, March 29. Camp Pendleton’s Single Marine Program and Marine volunteers tested a pilot fitness challenge to promote physical education while giving back to the community. (Photo by Cpl. Derrick K. Irions)


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Samatha Luna, left, navigates through the agility portion of an obstacle course as Cpl. Jaclyn L. Mickelson, guides her during the Marine Corps Physical Education Fitness Challenge at JMS here, March 29. Luna is a 13-year-old eighth-grade student at Jefferson Middle School and Mickelson is an administrative clerk with Camp Pendleton’s Security Battalion here.

Samatha Luna, left, navigates through the agility portion of an obstacle course as Cpl. Jaclyn L. Mickelson, guides her during the Marine Corps Physical Education Fitness Challenge at JMS here, March 29. Luna is a 13-year-old eighth-grade student at Jefferson Middle School and Mickelson is an administrative clerk with Camp Pendleton’s Security Battalion here. (Photo by Cpl. Derrick K. Irions)


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Students from Jefferson Middle School participate in the tug-of-war portion of a Marine Corps Physical Education Fitness Challenge, March 29. During each physical education class, hundreds of students gathered at the school's track and football field where Marine volunteers from Pendleton’s Single Marine Program held the four-station obstacle course.

Students from Jefferson Middle School participate in the tug-of-war portion of a Marine Corps Physical Education Fitness Challenge, March 29. During each physical education class, hundreds of students gathered at the school's track and football field where Marine volunteers from Pendleton’s Single Marine Program held the four-station obstacle course. (Photo by Cpl. Derrick K. Irions )


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Alma Rodriguez, a 14-year-old eighth-grade student at Jefferson Middle School crawls through an obstacle during the Marine Corps Physical Education Fitness Challenge at Jefferson Middle School here, March 29. During each physical education class, hundreds of students gathered at the school's track and football field where Marine volunteers from Pendleton’s Single Marine Program held the four-station obstacle course.

Alma Rodriguez, a 14-year-old eighth-grade student at Jefferson Middle School crawls through an obstacle during the Marine Corps Physical Education Fitness Challenge at Jefferson Middle School here, March 29. During each physical education class, hundreds of students gathered at the school's track and football field where Marine volunteers from Pendleton’s Single Marine Program held the four-station obstacle course. (Photo by Cpl. Derrick K. Irions )


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Mariela Salas Lupercio, left, a 12-year-old seventh-grade student at Jefferson Middle School, flips a tire before racing to the finish line as Sgt. Cindy V. Argueta, a substance clerk with 1st Supply Battalion, motivates and guides her through the course during the Marine Corps Physical Education Fitness Challenge at the school, March 29.

Mariela Salas Lupercio, left, a 12-year-old seventh-grade student at Jefferson Middle School, flips a tire before racing to the finish line as Sgt. Cindy V. Argueta, a substance clerk with 1st Supply Battalion, motivates and guides her through the course during the Marine Corps Physical Education Fitness Challenge at the school, March 29. (Photo by Cpl. Derrick K. Irions )


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Students participate in a tug-of-war competition during the Marine Corps Physical Education Fitness Challenge at Jefferson Middle School here, March 29. During each physical education class, hundreds of students gathered at the school's track and football field where Marine volunteers from Pendleton’s Single Marine Program held the four-station obstacle course.

Students participate in a tug-of-war competition during the Marine Corps Physical Education Fitness Challenge at Jefferson Middle School here, March 29. During each physical education class, hundreds of students gathered at the school's track and football field where Marine volunteers from Pendleton’s Single Marine Program held the four-station obstacle course. (Photo by Cpl. Derick K. Irions )


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Oceanside, Calif. -- A school bell rings as children scramble to their classrooms some making their way outside for a less conventional physical education class.

Each period, hundreds of students gathered at the school's track and football field where Marine volunteers from Camp Pendleton’s Single Marine Program conducted a four-station Physical Education Fitness Challenge at Jefferson Middle School here, March 29.

The students participated in a series of agility and strength building activities such as a tire-flip course, a tug-of-war competition and an obstacle course that included a potato sack race and mesh-net tunnel run.

"The kids were so engaged and so into the activities," said the school's principal, Marie Higareda de Ochoa. "They pushed themselves in a way that they haven't done in a long time."

Ochoa said, the word spread about the Marines’ fitness challenge and got the attention of the next physical education class.

Lance Cpl. Jacob G. Zoerb and Ryan S. Burke, infantrymen with 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, encouraged the students during the tug-of-war portion of the event.

"We got a bunch of kids of all ages from different classes, pitted them against each other, did a little motivating and it worked," they said, boasting about the success their groups were having. "We haven't lost yet."

Working together in groups, the students were willingly extending themselves to their own physical limits to help their group win the challenges.

“The kids were applying themselves more than usual,” Ochoa said. “To me that's a good indicator our kids have what it takes. They just need the right inspiration and today was one of those days."

For more information visit Single Marine Program or call (760) 725-6288.

Contact Cpl. Derrick K. Irions at derrick.irions@usmc.mil.
ImageCamp Pendleton ImageJefferson Middle School ImageLance Cpl. Jacob Zoerb ImageLance Cpl. Ryan Burke ImageMarie Higareda de Ochoa ImageMarine Corps ImageOceanside Imagephysical fitness Imagephysical training Imagesingle marine program

1 Comments


  • John Bankhead 1 years 113 days ago
    Hoorah, Semper Fi.

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