Published: Sept. 1, 2016 By


CU team eliminates Pac-12 rival, but West Point wins the day 


People are taking “Weekend Warrior” adventures to a new level as mud runs, obstacle courses and other military-style athletic competitions pop up around the country. 

Some Buffs are especially well adapted for these races: As ROTC students, they’re training anyway. 

So when the Battlefrog Obstacle Race Series and ESPN invited CU’s Navy ROTC unit to participate in the ESPN College Championship, a bracket-style competition with $10,000 in scholarships on the line, the Buffs jumped at the chance. 

Dan McComas (PolSci’17) took advantage of a five-day March “vacation” outside of Atlanta, Ga., to represent CU, along with Emily Bell (Bus’19), Abby Lealaimatafao (IntlAf ’19) and Mike Johnson (IntlAf ’18). The race aired on ESPN in July. 

“We didn’t do any training for it,” McComas said, adding that ROTC training had prepared them well for the obstacles. 

The course featured 20 obstacles spread over 400 meters, including a 12-foot ladder wall, “Normandy Jacks,” which require crawling through mud under wires, and the “tsunami,” a slanted wall competitors run up, crest and slide down. 

The Colorado crew, one of 16 teams, beat Arizona State, the other participating Pac-12 school, in the first round. The Buffs fell short against Georgia Tech in the next head-to-head matchup, and a team from (no surprise) West Point won the overall competition for the second time in a row. 

“I’m not really a TV person,” McComas said, “but it definitely was a good experience.”

Photo courtesy Battlefrog Obstacle Race Series