By Shannon Collins
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va., June 24, 2015 – Despite being cut short by a late afternoon storm, the 2015 DoD Warrior Games track competition kicked into overdrive yesterday at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
The athletes were wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans from the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard and the United Kingdom. For many of them, their hot and humid day began with field events -- shot put and discus. Some then went on to compete in the wheelchair basketball finals.
The track competition began after the wheelchair basketball medal ceremony.
Army Capt. Kelly Elmlinger and retired Marine Anthony McDaniels went head-to-head in the wheelchair track finals last year, with McDaniels winning the gold, but this year there were separate male and female categories.
“It would’ve been nice to race him again,” said Elmlinger. “We’ve built a pretty good friendship even though we had a nice little rivalry last year. It was a lot of fun getting to know him and his mom, making another friend.”
“She’s an awesome competitor,” McDaniels said of Elmlinger. “I would’ve loved going against her again this year, because she would’ve pushed me, and I would’ve pushed her.”
Elmlinger earned an overall silver last year in wheelchair track and took away golds this year in the women’s 100- and 800-meter events.
The men’s 800 final came down to Air Force Sgt. Zachary Burnash and Marine Reservist Richard Delarosa-Buglewicz.
“During that last 100, I was in fourth, and I just started kicking, and I got first,” Delarosa-Buglewicz said. “I wish I could’ve raced the guy who got first in the other heat because I think I would’ve passed him, but hey, last year I got bronze. This was a personal record; a 2:15 half mile.”
Burnash said he’s run everything from a 200 to a 5K, so the 800 is in his “wheelhouse.”
“I feel like if I had competition at the final stretch, I would’ve subtracted a couple of more seconds to make up for that,” he said. “It felt great crossing the finish line. My legs were tight, but it just felt amazing knowing I had the gold.”
As storm became too threatening, everyone was rushed into the Barber Physical Activities Center.
Races not held were the 200, 400 and 1,500.