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Marine recruiter Sgt. Timothy Riffe competed in a pull-up challenge against University of Minnesota gymnast Justine Cherwink at TCF Bank Stadium for the Military Appreciation Football Game Sept. 10. During a time-out in the fourth quarter, Riffe and Cherwink had 30 seconds to complete as many pull-ups as possible. More than 48,800 Golden Gopher fans cheered as Cherwink knocked out 18. However, it wasn't enough to beat Riffe who completed 28. For additional imagery from the event, visit www.facebook.com/rstwincities.

Photo by Staff Sgt. Clinton Firstbrook

Rochester recruiter competes in pull-up challenge during Minnesota Gophers football game

19 Sep 2011 | Staff Sgt. Clinton Firstbrook

Marine recruiter Sgt. Timothy Riffe competed in a pull-up challenge against University of Minnesota gymnast Justine Cherwink at TCF Bank Stadium for the Gophers' Military Appreciation Football Game Sept. 10.

During a time-out in the fourth quarter, Riffe and Cherwink had 30 seconds to complete as many pull-ups as possible. More than 48,800 Golden Gophers fans cheered as Cherwink knocked out 18. However, it wasn't enough to beat Riffe who completed 28.

"It was a pretty cool experience getting out there in front of that many people," said Riffe, a 27-year-old Bakersfield, Calif., native. "Didn't mind the crowd, but I wasn't used to having a time limit. I'm pretty satisfied with my performance though."

Initially, Riffe was slated to compete against "Goldy," the Golden Gophers' mascot, but a last minute line-up change brought one of the university's student athletes out onto the field.

"I received a call right before the game from a gymnastics alumna who said they needed someone who could do a lot of pull-ups," said Justine Cherwink, an 18-year-old Aledo, Texas, native. "The most I've ever done is 29, but we maxed out at the gym the day before so I was pretty sore."

Cherwink, a junior at the university and a sophomore gymnast, also said she had never met a Marine prior to this event.

"They were all very nice," Cherwink said. "Quite a few people have come up to me since the game and said they saw us in the end zone."

Following the pull-up challenge, recruiters from the Rochester, Minn., office presented Cherwink with some Marine memorabilia for her physical fitness efforts.

"She deserves it," Riffe said. "Our incentive items say 'earned, never given' for a reason."

For additional imagery from the event, visit www.facebook.com/rstwincities.


9th Marine Corps District