Warhawk team runs, bikes and climbs to strong finish at fitness championship

June 21, 2013

In a grueling competition of athleticism and stamina, a Warhawk team ranked high against other schools in a national championship.

The 2013 American Collegiate Intramural Sports (ACIS) Fitness National Competition, held April 27 in Chula Vista, Calif., saw 12 schools compete, including the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The competition tested students' strength, speed, agility and stamina in a variety of events.

The tournament airs on television Friday, June 21, at 11:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Wisconsin.

Teams of four -- two men and two women -- competed in tug-of-war, Navy Seal obstacle courses, BMX races and volleyball.

The Warhawk team included students Stephanie Punda, Reece Raethke, Ciara McGinn and Frank Petras. UW-Whitewater ended up in sixth place overall, ahead of UW-Madison, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and University of San Diego.

Jen Kaina, assistant director of fitness and aquatics at the Williams Center, said she's proud of what the Warhawk team accomplished, and hopes to have another team compete next year.

Goals of the Fitness National Championship include promoting a healthy lifestyle, learning the power of teamwork and recognizing the talents of student athletes across America.

Recreational sports and fitness is a major part of the Warhawk way of life. Each year, thousands of students participate in intramural sports ranging from basketball and tennis to wallyball and ultimate Frisbee.

UW-Whitewater was recently named one of the best universities for intramural sports by BestColleges.com.


Sara Kuhl

Jeff Angileri

Photos courtesy: Ken Pagliaro

Clockwise from top: Winning teams pose for a picture near the medal stand; Reece Raethke leads the Warhawk tug-of-war team; Stephanie Punda competes during the BMX race; Ciara McGinn on the obstacle course.