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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Guard ranks high in combatives tournament

The Army National Guard Combatives Championship crowned it's best fighters at Fort Benning, Ga, March 26-28 About 100 Soldiers from 27 states participated in the tournament The Illinois Guard's team took first place

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Team MN brought 6 fighters down to the tournament to compete At 125 pounds was Spc Schommer from A Co, 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry (2-135 IN), Spc Garibay from A Co, 2-135 IN at the 140 pound class, Sgt Fridgen from A Co 2-135 IN at the 155 pound class, Capt Eitenmiller, 34th Infantry Division at the 170 pound class, Spc Schnoor from D Co, 2-135 IN at the 205 pound class, at Heavy Weight Sgt Curry from the 850th Horizontal Engineering Company and two coaches 2nd Lt Malmberg from B Co 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry and Sgt Maj Padilla 84th Troop Command

Team MN had over 20 fights total and came in 4th place overall in team standings, only losing to teams that had twice as many members   Individual achievements taken by the team were Capt Eitenmiller took first place overall at 170 pounds, Spc Schommer and Spc Garibay took 3rd place in their weight classes  Sgt Fridgen took 4th place at his weight class

The level of competition at these events continues to grow and the Minnesota National Guard is dedicated to continue to participate in these events The Minnesota National Guard will send a team down to the All Army Combatives Tournament this fall  Soldiers interested in representing the state of Minn must compete at the state competition this summer 

"We've seen an increase in participation every year, and I think next year we'll get even larger," said Capt Brian Deaton, the officer in charge of the tournament "We're hoping to get over 120 competitors next year to come out and fight"

"The combatives program helps to keep the warrior ethos alive and instills the fighting spirit and it's also a great fitness tool for units to utilize in their fitness plan," said Deaton

The US Armed Forces Pankration tournament is scheduled for May 15 at Camp Pendleton, Calif, and the All Army Combatives Championship will be held in August at Fort Benning

Top Guard Fighters

A look at the top teams (with point totals) and individual finishers by weight classification in the third annual Army National Guard Combatives Tournament, held Saturday and Sunday at Briant Wells Fieldhouse on Fort Benning, Ga:

1 Illinois - 171
tie-2 Arizona - 117
tie-2 Idaho - 117
4 Minnesota - 110

1 Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Taniguchi, Hawaii
2 Spc Elisha Helsper, Idaho
3 Spc Jacob Schommer, Minnesota

1 Staff Sgt Matthew Stemmler, Virginia
2 Staff Sgt Justin Gottke, Ohio
3 Spc Erik Cabral-Garibay, Minnesota

1 Staff Sgt Robert Early, Idaho
2 Sgt Adam Therriault, Illinois
3 Sgt Joshua Fridgen, Minnesota

1 Capt Joachim Eitenmiller, Minnesota
2 Maj Curtiss Robinson, South Carolina
3 Staff Sgt Nicholas Grant, Illinois

1 Staff Sgt Steven Elliot, California
2 Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Chroninger, Idaho
3 Sgt Neil Magny, Illinois

Light Heavyweight
1 2nd Lt Brandon Hern, Oregon
2 Staff Sgt Phillip Wagoner, Rhode Island
3 Staff Sgt Jacob Torrez, Washington

1 Staff Sgt Jeremy Christenson, Alaska
2 Sgt Gregory Main, Arizona
3 Sgt Andres Behrens, Arizona

By Sgt Maj Tony Padilla
84th Troops Command
28 Mar, 2010

Army Guard names top combative champions

Virginia Soldier wins lightweight class championship

National Guard Combatives Tournament draws record field

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