Marines claim first Warrior Games gold

May 13, 2010, 2:20 a.m. (ET)
The first medals of the Warrior Games presented by Deloitte were awarded on Day 3.  Archery athletes have taken home the first hardware of the competition and the wheelchair basketball bronze medal was claimed by Air Force.

The Army showcased precision shooting skills during the archery competition Wednesday in the first medal events of these Games in compound and recurve. All told, Army warriors took home four of the six medals awarded, including a 1-2-3 sweep in the recurve division. Michael Lukow outshot fellow Army teammate Curtis Winston to secure the first gold medal of the inaugural Warrior Games, presented by Deloitte. Lukow, a below-the-knee amputee caused by a roadside bomb blast in Iraq in 2008, hopes to use his gold-medal victory as a springboard to furthering his archery career as he waits to hear on whether or not he's been accepted into the Army's World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). Lukow also is ompeting in sitting volleyball and the discus this week.

It was an all-Marine final in compound with Beau Parra edging out Matthew Benack by the slightest of margins to secure a gold medal for the Marine Corps. Parra will also be competing in the pistol shooting competition Thursday as well.

"This feels great winning my first gold medal," said Parra. "Benack (silver medalist) and I have trained together for a couple weeks and it's always nice to joke back and forth. My family wanted me to come back with a gold medal, so this will make them proud."

Wheelchair Basketball
In a tightly contested bronze-medal game Wednesday night, Air Force was held scoreless for 27 minutes and 54 seconds - a dry spell that spanned the first and second half - but got a winning basket by Jennifer Stone (Denver, Colo.) with 1:23 to play to seal their victory and record the Air Force's first medal of the inaugural Warrior Games. Air Force jumped off to an early 10-4 lead with 9:17 left to go in the first half, but wouldn't score again until Stone's layup off a Navy turnover to break-up what was a 10-10 tie at the time. Elmer (Matt) Sanders would hit a free throw with 12.7 seconds remaining in the game as the Air Force defeated Navy, 13-10.

"I feel great," said Stone, when asked how she felt about winning the game-clinching shot. "I was right under the basket and got a great assist. It's truly an honor to represent the Air Force. It's a chance of a lifetime."

In other action, the Marines (3-0) and Army (2-1) will meet again in the gold-medal final Thursday night as both were victorious in their semifinal contests from SportsCenter I at the Olympic Training Center. The Marines ran away from Army in the second half of their previous meeting Tuesday and won 45-18.

Preliminary heats were contested Wednesday in the following events:

  • 50m freestyle (m/w)
  • 50m breaststroke (m)
  • 50m backstroke (w)
  • 100m freestyle (m)
  • Mixed 200m relay

Finals in those events will be Friday, so check back then for a listing of all medalists.

Sitting Volleyball
The Marines and Air Force remain undefeated in the sitting volleyball competition with semifinals set for Thursday evening.

Scores and results from Wednesday are as follows:

Archery (OTC, SportsCenter I)
Gold - Michael Lukow (Army/Colo.)
Silver - Curtis Winston (Army)
Bronze - Jeffrey Anderson (Army)
4th - Daniel "Don" Govier (Marines)

Gold - Beau Parra (Marines)
Silver - Matthew Benack (Marines)
Bronze - Robert Price (Army)
4th - Travis Akin (Army/Copperas Cover, Texas)

Sitting Volleyball (OTC, SportsCenter II)
Air Force def Army 4, 2-1 (24-26, 25-17, 15-7)
Marine 1 def Navy, 2-0 (25-20, 25-21)
Army 4 def Army 1, 2-0 (25-19, 25-22)
Navy def Army 3, 2-0 (25-21, 25-21)
Army 3 def Army 2, 2-0 (25-9, 25-13)
Air Force def Marine 2 - Forfeit

Wheelchair Basketball (OTC, SportsCenter I)
Army 41, Air Force 12
Marines 47, Navy 12
Bronze Medal Game - Air Force 13, Navy 10

Day 3 Flash Quotes

Brig. Gen. Gary H. Cheek

On what he's asking of each of the soldiers competing at the 2010 Warrior Games . . .

"The No. 1 thing I asked all of them to do was to take this flame, this Olympic torch, this spirit it has brought into them ... back to their comrades who are also recovering and moving forward and light that spark in them -- get their comrades back into life and into physical activity, and other things as well. [The] real purpose of these games is to have a greater impact in the programs we're running across all the military services in the future."

Day 4 Preview
Two additional sports get their showcase Thursday with competition taking place in shooting (air rifle/air pistol) as well as cycling in the stand-up, recumbent and handcycle divisions. Sitting volleyball concludes Thursday with semifinal action, followed by the medal matches. In wheelchair basketball, there will be plenty of intensity between the Marines and Army as they square-off in the gold-medal final.

Thursday's complete competition schedule is as follows:

Cycling (Air Force Academy) - 0930 - 1115 hrs.
Competition in stand-ups, recumbent and handcycles.

Shooting (OTC, Shooting Center) - 1300-1700 hrs.
Competition in standing/prone air rifle and air pistol for both lower and upper body impairments.

Sitting Volleyball
Air Force vs. Army 3 - 1600 hrs (OTC, SportsCenter I)
Marines vs. Army 4 - 1600 hrs (OTC, SportsCenter II)
Bronze Medal Match - TBD vs. TBD - 1700 hrs (Sportscenter I)
Gold Medal Match - TBD vs. TBD - immediately following bronze medal match (Sportscenter II) 

Basketball (OTC, SportsCenter I)
Gold Medal Game - Marines vs. Army - 1915 hrs

Chairman’s Cup
With five medals decided on Wednesday, the race to the Chairman’s Cup is officially underway.  A formula has been created to even the playing field between the service branches based on the number of athletes they each have competing. 

Chairman’s Cup Standings

Branch             Gold    Silver   Bronze             Total    Points

Army                1          1          2                      4          4

Marines            1          1          0                      2          4

Air Force         0          0          1                      1          4

Navy                0          0          0                      0          0