Oshkosh soldier's competition run ends at regionals

Spc. Zackary Warnke with the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, crosses the finish line in the two-mile run event during the Army Physical Fitness Test during the 2014 State Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy, April 11, 2014. (Mobile Public Affairs Detachment photo by Staff Sgt. Megan Leuck)

CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - A local soldier's run in the Army National Guard's Best Warrior Competition has ended.

Spc. Zack Warnke took second place overall in the regional competition this week. A Sheboygan-area native and University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh student, Warnke is assigned to the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Warnke earned a spot in the regional competition by winning the Wisconsin Best Warrior Competition and being named State Soldier of the Year.

The regional competition included some 16-hour days where soldiers competed in tasks that measured physical fitness, weapons proficiency, land navigation and confidence, among other categories.

"I know I could have done better in a few events, and that's probably what knocked me out of winning, but that's the whole point of the competition," Warnke said in a news release. "The competition was so close that if you slip anywhere, that deficiency is going to be exploited. I still feel good about my results. I feel I did the best I could. Hopefully I did Wisconsin and my (non-commissioned oficers) proud."

The regional competition included the top soldier and noncommissioned officer from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. The winners in both the soldier and noncommissioned officer category are both from Minnesota. They advance to the national competition.