MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
As the sun set over the rolling Southern Californian hills, the 10th annual Marine Corps Trials drew to an end, March 11.
A total of 196 athletes representing two U.S. Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Battalions and six foreign countries participated in the week-long competition. Organized into seven competing teams, participants represented Wounded Warrior Battalion-East, Wounded Warrior Battalion-West, Canada, France, Colombia, Georgia, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Each team was comprised of both active-duty and veteran athletes.
The closing dinner brought together the athletes, coaches and staff of the Marine Corps Trials, and served as an opportunity for leadership and guests to share gratitude, praise, and each other’s company.
“This event was not just about preparing for the DOD Warrior Games,” said Col. Richard Pitchford, commanding officer of Wounded Warrior Regiment. “It’s about the camaraderie, the spirit of competition and making lasting friendships while continuing to move forward in your journey.”
The trials began with three days of training and practices, followed by a week of intense competition across 12 adaptive sports, March 4-11. An air of celebration filled the Pacific Views Event Center for the closing ceremony, where all of the participants were honored for their amazing achievements over the course of the competition.
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Col. Greg Boyle commanded the Wounded Warrior Regiment when it was established in 2007 and was the guest of honor at the closing ceremony.
“This is about taking care of our own, about allowing service members to continue the fight, continue to have that objective out in front of them,” Boyle said. “The programs and resources in [adaptive sports] are critical in assisting our recovering service members…these Marine Corps Trials have come to mean a tremendous amount to our men and women, as I’m sure it does to all of you.”
As the night drew to a close, the most anticipated award of the entire competition was announced, the ultimate champion.
The award was presented to U. S. Marine Corps veteran Staff Sgt. Robert Dominguez for best overall achievement across eight individual sports: the 50 meter freestyle swim, 10 meter prone air rifle shooting, 100 meter sprint, 1-minute rowing, powerlifting, shotput, cycling, and archery.
Dominguez and all the athletes chosen to move on will next compete at the Department of Defense Warrior Games in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 21-28, 2020.
The Marine Corps Trials promotes recovery and rehabilitation through adaptive sports participation and develops camaraderie among recovering service members and veterans.
For the latest information visit www.wounderwarriorregiment.mil or follow the Wounded Warrior Regiment Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wwr.usmc/.