Marines Compete in Bench Press Challenge

Marine Lance Cpl. Thomas W. Courtney 600x400

USS PELELIU – The faces of the competitors turned red as they gave all of their effort to push out the most repetitions possible, during a ship-wide Bench Press Competition, Dec. 29.

The challenge was the seventh competition of the Campbell Cup, a bi-monthly challenge that pits teams within the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group against each other. The goal was for teams of up five Marines or sailors to bench press 185 pounds as many times as possible per team member. Once each member could no longer bench press the weight, the next team member would take over. Each participant had a grader who ensured his arms were locked at the top of the repetition and at a 90 degree angle at the bottom.

“This Campbell Cup event tested the muscular endurance of all competitors, both blue and green,” said Religious Program Specialist 1st Class Edward S. DeBaun, Command Element, 15th MEU. “This had another great turn-out with nearly 100 participating or watching the event,” added the 35-year-old native of Copperopolis, Calif.

Nine teams participated, and the winning team was Crash and Rescue from the USS Peleliu with 157 presses. Kilo Company came in second place with 148 repetitions, and the Command Element’s team came in third place with 135 bench presses.

The Blue Shirts, a team of sailors from the USS Peleliu, are now in the lead of the Campbell Cup competition with 65 points, the Command Element is in second with 47 points, and Kilo Company is in third place with 42 points.

The Campbell Cup involves events ranging from talent shows to video games to physical and mental challenges. At the end of each Sunday’s events, the teams are awarded points based on how they placed. The prestigious cup is named after Col. Scott D. Campbell, the 15th MEU commanding officer, and at the end of the deployment, he will present a trophy to the winning unit.

“This was fun,” said Lance Cpl. Jeno G. Fredericks, data systems technician, Command Element, 15th MEU. “The bench press is my strong suit. I work out regularly with the others who were on my team, which I feel helped us during the competition. All in all, I had a good time,” added the 22-year-old Houston native, whose team has come third place twice now.

DeBaun put together the event with the help of his Campbell Cup committee, which is made up of 16 Marines and sailors throughout the 15th MEU.

The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a U.S. Central Command theater reserve force, providing support for maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

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