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Final push to finish for 2019 Texas Best Warrior Competition competitors

Spc. Juan Gonzalez, Texas Army National Guard, pushes himself to the finish line to complete the 12-mile ruck march wearing a 35-pound ruck sack during the Texas National Guard’s 2019 Best Warrior Competition at Camp Swift March 1, 2019. The competition is currently putting the competitors through demanding physical and mental tests which include a modified Army physical fitness test, an obstacle course, marksmanship drills, land navigation, formal board interviews, written exams, and a mystery event. (Texas Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Bryan Swink)

Spc. Juan Gonzalez, Texas Army National Guard, pushes himself to the finish line to complete the 12-mile ruck march wearing a 35-pound ruck sack during the Texas National Guard’s 2019 Best Warrior Competition at Camp Swift March 1, 2019. The competition is currently putting the competitors through demanding physical and mental tests which include a modified Army physical fitness test, an obstacle course, marksmanship drills, land navigation, formal board interviews, written exams, and a mystery event. (Texas Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Bryan Swink)

Spc. Tanner Rider, Texas Army National Guard, works his way over and under the wooden beams during the obstacle course portion of the Texas National Guard’s 2019 Best Warrior Competition at Camp Swift Feb. 28, 2019. Over the span of 24 hours, the competitors have been put through an obstacle course, nighttime navigation, a 12-mile ruck march wearing a 35-pound ruck sack and performing a modified Army physical fitness test which consisted of pushups, sit-ups, and a four-mile run. (Texas Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Bryan Swink)

Spc. Tanner Rider, Texas Army National Guard, works his way over and under the wooden beams during the obstacle course portion of the Texas National Guard’s 2019 Best Warrior Competition at Camp Swift Feb. 28, 2019. Over the span of 24 hours, the competitors have been put through an obstacle course, nighttime navigation, a 12-mile ruck march wearing a 35-pound ruck sack and performing a modified Army physical fitness test which consisted of pushups, sit-ups, and a four-mile run. (Texas Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Bryan Swink)

The participants of the Texas National Guard’s 2019 Best Warrior Competition took part in a 12-station obstacle course at Camp Swift, Texas Feb. 28, 2019. The four-day event not only features some of the state’s top service members from the Army and Air Force, but also features competitors from Chile and the Czech Republic, who are both partners of the Texas military under the State Partnership Program. (Texas Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Bryan Swink)

The participants of the Texas National Guard’s 2019 Best Warrior Competition took part in a 12-station obstacle course at Camp Swift, Texas Feb. 28, 2019. The four-day event not only features some of the state’s top service members from the Army and Air Force, but also features competitors from Chile and the Czech Republic, who are both partners of the Texas military under the State Partnership Program. (Texas Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Bryan Swink)

Sgt. Mayquel Garcia, Chilean Army, sprints to the finish line carrying a 35-pound ruck sack completing the 12-mile ruck march to begin day three of the Texas National Guard’s 2019 Best Warrior Competition at Camp Swift March 1, 2019. The four-day event not only features some of the state’s top Soldier and Airmen, but also features competitors from Chile and the Czech Republic, who are both partners of the Texas military under the State Partnership Program. (Texas Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Bryan Swink)

Sgt. Mayquel Garcia, Chilean Army, sprints to the finish line carrying a 35-pound ruck sack completing the 12-mile ruck march to begin day three of the Texas National Guard’s 2019 Best Warrior Competition at Camp Swift March 1, 2019. The four-day event not only features some of the state’s top Soldier and Airmen, but also features competitors from Chile and the Czech Republic, who are both partners of the Texas military under the State Partnership Program. (Texas Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Bryan Swink)

CAMP SWIFT, TEXAS --

Two days down, two more to go for the Soldiers, Airmen and international partners competing in the Texas National Guard’s 2019 Best Warrior Competition at Camp Swift, Texas March 1, 2019.

Over the span of 24 hours, the competitors have been put through an obstacle course, nighttime navigation, a 12-mile ruck march wearing a 35-pound ruck sack and performing a modified Army physical fitness test which consisted of pushups, sit-ups, and a four-mile run.

If this wasn’t challenging enough, all of these events were completed while battling temperatures just a few degrees above freezing, inconsistent rain and wind, and only a couple hours of sleep.

“I knew I was going to be challenged physically and mentally for this competition, but I had no idea I would be pushed harder than I ever have in my life,” said Senior Airman Henry Ravenell, 136th Airlift Wing. “Even though I’m incredibly exhausted, I know I have to push myself even further so I can say I gave it my all take advantage of this awesome opportunity to represent the Air Force and my wing.”

Blocking out distractions and only focusing on the job at hand is what Pfc. Joshua Gonzalez says helps keep him going.

“As tiring as it’s been so far, the best thing for me to do to finish this competition is just focus on whatever event is right in front of me and block out all distractions,” said Gonzalez, Texas Army National Guard. “As a Soldier, we are taught to keep on going regardless of how tired you are. It doesn’t matter to me what any of my competition is doing, all I can control is my focus and my output.”

The experience of this competition not only allows Texas Army and Air Force Guard units to get together to build camaraderie, but it also strengthens the Guard’s relationship between the Czech Republic and Chile through the State Partner Program.

“I’m proud and honored to represent my home country of Chile at this competition,”said Cpl. Fabian Berrios Ortiz, Chilean Army. “I see all the other competitors pushing themselves hard and I am here to do the same thing. It’s been a great opportunity to work with true professionals from Texas and the Czech Republic to strengthen our countries relationships.”

The winners of the Texas competition will be honored at a banquet in May and will be eligible to compete in Best Warrior Competition at the nation and international levels.