MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Units from around the air station took part in the 2011 Commander’s Cup Sumo Basho at the IronWorks Gym sports courts here April 22.
Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 threw its Marine and sailor competition to the side dominating the rest of the pack to an easy first place finish.
The Commander’s Cup is a point-based tournament with units competing for rewards.
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 came in second place, and Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron finished in third place.
“The Commander’s Cup is a really great tournament,” said Cpl. Ryan D. Menzies, a MALS-12 teammate. “It’s a great way to get Marines and sailors active on station.”
The Sumo Basho had team members from each unit put on sumo fat suits and helmets, face each other on a circular mat and push, throw or pull down the other team’s competitors to get the win.
The boundary for losing was off the mat or going off the mat.
“This is a good way to get camaraderie with the other units and to come out and compete with each other,” Menzies said.
Five units including MWSS-171, H&HS, Combat Logistics Company 36, MALS-12 and station Facilities competed in the event.
Teams consisted of five members with each competitor getting a best out of three fights in the single elimination tournament.
“I think this event is a great opportunity for the different units to get together and compete,” said Barbara A. Roman, a Semper Fit fitness instructor and event coordinator. “The tournament is fun and challenging at the same time.”
The Sumo Basho kicked off with Lance Cpl. Darrin W. Sellers, a CLC-36 competitor, suiting up in rubber fat suits against Lance Cpl. CarlWayne J. Pecha, a MALS-12 competitor.
Pecha was able to toss and push Sellers out of bounds to get the win.
The MALS-12 team continued forward in the bracket after it conquered the rest of CLC-36.
The crowd of Marines and sailors cheered on their respective units and laughed as the competitors wobbled around in the sumo suits.
“We tried hard to win,” said Menzies. “None of us have ever done this before but we had fun with it.”
Sgt. Enrique D. Watson, an H&HS competitor, faced off with Sgt. Derek M. Dudek, an MWSS-171 competitor.
Though Watson won the match, the other H&HS team members weren’t able to beat their MWSS-171 foes, sending H&HS to the loser’s bracket.
Next was Facilities versus MALS-12.
The sailors from Facilities put up a valiant effort, but the MALS-12 Marines continued their winning streak.
“We work out every day to stay fit for events like this,” said Corey J. Sanford Jr., MALS-12 head coach.
The H&HS team battled Facilities to determine third place.
Watson gave his Marines a few pointers; they then slammed and pushed the Facilities competitors to get the win.
The final matchup between MALS-12 and MWSS-171 began with Menzies and Dudek going toe-to-toe.
Giving MALS-12 the upper hand, Menzies threw Dudek out of bounds to get the win.
Lance Cpl. Kelly B. Marable, an MWSS-171 competitor, evened the score after he put down Pfc. Andrew R. Gill, a MALS-12 competitor.
With the score at one to one, Petty Officer 2nd Class Cerraio K. Villarouel, an MWSS-171 competitor, tossed aside Cpl. Shaun N. Green, a MALS-12 competitor, to put MWSS-171 ahead.
Pecha was next up for MALS-12, but couldn’t get the win against Cpl. Isiah D. Fagins, an MWSS-171 competitor.
With Fagins’ win, the MWSS-171 team claimed the first place trophy.
The Sumo Basho is one of the nine Commander’s Cup events held throughout the year.
“We will be ready and waiting for all challengers at the next Commander’s Cup event,” said Fagins.
MWSS-171 is the current leader in this year’s Commander’s Cup.
The next Commander’s Cup event is scheduled to be the Longest Drive at Torii Pines Golf Course here May 13.