Ramstein athletes compete in international competition

Airman 1st Class Edward Drescher
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***A team representing U.S. Air Forces in Europe traveled to Belgium to compete in the International Air Forces’ Track and Field Championships June 8.

The team, which consisted of some stateside Airmen, contained three members from Ramstein and competed against some of the best athletes other nations have to offer. Other nations competing in the event were the German air force, the Royal Air Force, the Belgian Air Component, the Polish air force and the Netherlands air force.

The USAFE team, sponsored by Component Command Air Headquarters here, placed second overall behind a strong German team. The RAF finished third to earn the bronze.

“We wanted to make it two in a row this year,” said team manager Steven Lowe. “But the Germans had a real strong team with some of their best athletes out there.”

Ramstein got good showings from its athletes with Casey Jackson taking third in the 10,000-meter run, Donnie Gray placing seventh in the 5,000-meter run and Eric Long grabbing second in the long jump.

“Its always been my dream to compete at a high level and there is nothing better than running for my country and representing the Air Force,” said Gray, who plans on competing in the upcoming Army 10-miler and Berlin Marathon.

CC-Air HQ is sponsoring more teams in the near future, including a swimming team and a cross country team in the fall. Anyone interested in joining one of these teams can contact Lowe at 496-7934.

“Our program is sort of an extension to the varsity programs offered. It gives our best athletes the chance to compete at the next level,” said Lowe. “It can also be a great stepping stone to even higher competition.”