Team from Fort Benning wins Best Ranger

The Fort Benning team of Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Lemma and Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Briggs won the 32nd annual David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning Sunday.

The team is from the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade.

It is the first win for Lemma but the second for Briggs who won in 2013 when he was teamed with Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Santiago.

Capt. Robert Killian and Capt. Travis Cornwall of the the Army National Guard took second-place Sunday.

Staff Sgt. Philip Jewah and Sgt. Thomas Malphrus of the 75th Ranger Regiment, finished in third place. The winning team, and the teams that finished the competition, will be recognized at an award ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday at Marshall Auditorium in McGinnis-Wickam Hall.

Only 24 of the 51 two-man teams that began the competition on Friday were around to compete on the final day.

Lemma and Briggs led going into the final day and hung on though finishing sixth in last event of the day, the Buddy Run.

Killian and Cornwall placed second in the run.

The run was won by the team of 1st Lt. David Matthews and 1st Lt. Kyle Cobb of the 25th Infantry Division.

Lemma had several supporters at the event none bigger than his stepbrother Tim Boe who traveled from Wausau, Wisconsin to see him compete.

“I know he wants to win this so bad. He has trained very hard and is in great condition. I am really excited for him,” Boe said.

Boe was on hand to watch Lemma in several events.

“Whenever he would run past us I would be cheering and telling him to breathe,”

He call the competition a “crazy event.”

“It is really amazing,” Boe said.

Colonel David Fivecoat is the commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade.Soon after event finished, Fivecoat said he was proud not only of the men who serve directly under him but all of the competitors.

“All were pushed beyond where they thought they could perform. I was impressed by each team. They show grit and determination. I was in awe," he said.