Gardner-Webb Hybrid Challenge Raises Money for American Legion in Shelby, N.C.

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Fitness Event is Co-sponsored by Army ROTC and Campus Recreation

Gardner-Webb's ROTC students do their physical training test outside of the football stadium early on the morning on March 6, 2019.
Photo by Lisa Martinat

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The Hybrid Challenge, sponsored by the Gardner-Webb University Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and Campus Recreation, will test quickness and strength. The competition will raise money for American Legion Post 82 in Shelby. “This local veterans organization helps veterans and the local community,” said Capt. Michael Meissner, director of the Army ROTC and senior military science instructor.

Participants will have 15 minutes to run their fastest mile and perform a max-effort deadlift. Scoring is a combination of the run time and number of pounds lifted. Individuals may also compete as a team, where one person runs and the other lifts. The event is open to the public and will be held on April 6 at 8:30 a.m. in Spangler Stadium. In case of rain, the challenge will move into the Paul Porter Arena inside the Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center.

Cadet Lareshia “Larri” Robinson, a nursing major from Hendersonville, N.C., plans to compete in the event. In addition to regular ROTC physical training, she does CrossFit, a workout that combines high-intensity exercises with weightlifting. “I foresee the deadlift being the challenging part of the event, because your heart rate will be high after the run,” she observed. “Trying to max out a deadlift is going to require proper breathing.”

An Army ROTC Cadet does push-ups in front of the gate to the Spangler Stadium, while another one counts for him
Photo by Lisa Martinat

She and the other cadets are also excited to do something for veterans who have served their country. “As an ROTC, we feel strongly about helping to support the community we live in and giving back to local veterans,” she asserted.

Participants who register by March 31 may receive a T-shirt. Registration is $15 for GWU students or $5 (no shirt option); $20 for non-students; and $30 for teams. The deadline to register is April 5 at noon. Register at

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 48 hours prior to the event. Please call 704-406-2155 or email with your request.

Founded in 1916, ROTC—which stands for Reserve Officer Training Corps—is a college program offered at over 1,700 colleges and universities across the United States. In exchange for a paid college education and a guaranteed post-college career, cadets commit to serve in the military after graduation.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university, Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at