Military News

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Team Pete represents in athletic competitions

by Dave Smith
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

8/11/2015 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Last year Technical Sergeant Paul McWhirter, audio engineer for the Air Force Academy band, went into the Rocky Mountain State Games with no expectation of winning. But he did, leading to an appearance in the 2015 State Games of America held in Lincoln, Neb. August 1-2.

McWhirter, after defending his championship in the shot-put event in the 30-39 age group at the 15th Rocky Mountain State Games the previous weekend, placed second in the 35-39 age group at the national event with a throw of 31' 9", besting his RMSG winning distance of 31' 2."

"I threw better at Nationals than at the Colorado State games," he said. "I was in first going into the fourth round, but this guy got an amazing throw on the last one." McWhirter's throw was a personal best since he took up the event again a couple of years ago.

Overall he enjoyed the experience. The competitors were friendly and encouraging to each other, even to the point of offering helpful tips between rounds. He met the families of other athletes and made some new friends through it all.

"It was nice. Yeah, it was competitive, but it was a good natured competition," he said.
For the Rocky Mountain State Games those competing in the shot put had an open start, meaning they could come and make their throws any time during the designated time frame. That meant people of varying ages could end up throwing at the same time. At the National Games it was conducted like a traditional event, something McWhirter appreciated.

"In the Colorado games you didn't get to throw against the guys you are competing against," he explained. "It was nice at the nationals to get to throw against the other guys."

Since McWhirter repeated his State Games win in 2015 he is eligible to compete in the 2017 State Games of America, to be held in Michigan. However the chance of him returning to the national stage is slim due to his PCSing to Hawaii.

Team Pete was well represented on the medal stand at the RMSG as well. Second Lt. Shawn Hansen, 21st Comptroller Squadron, financial services flight commander, won the C division racquetball competition which was his first competitive tournament in the sport. Joining him as a gold medalist is Staff Sgt. Adam Porter, concert band operations manager for the USAFA band. Porter won his first ever deadlift competition competing in the 93 Kg Class, Masters 1a, Raw Division. Porter surpassed his goal of a 900 pound total, lifting 931.5 pounds total, gaining a personal best in the deadlift event with a 408 pound lift. Lt. Col. Kallie Quinn, 302 Airlift Wing inspector general finished third in her class in her fourth RMSG triathlon.

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