Cadet breaks IOCT record, aims for more

Story and Photo by Michelle Eberhart Assistant Editor

April 21st, 2016 | In Focus, News
Class of 2016 Cadet Joshua Bassette  broke the Indoor Obstacle Course Test record with a time of 2:01, previously broken by a track and field athlete in 2000 with a time of 2:02.

Most Old Grads have vivid memories of completing the Indoor Obstacle Course Test (IOCT) in Hayes Gym. Specifically, they probably remember the cheers of their peers and teachers while running with dry mouths and clouded lungs.

Class of 2016 Cadet Joshua Bassette can certainly relate. However, when he looks back in a few years from now, he’ll remember breaking the cadet IOCT record.

Bassette broke the record with a time of 2:01, previously held by a track and field athlete back in 2000 with a time of 2:02.

“I was gunning for the record,” Bassette said. “I knew I could do it if I had a clean run, so I was nervous but calm.”

The IOCT is a highly anticipated test organized through the Department of Physical Education (DPE). Cadets line the hallways of Arvin Cadet Physical Development Center awaiting their chance to conquer the infamous course.

DPE Instructor Tyler Patterson said that Bassette’s accomplishment is more than impressive.

“To break the Men’s cadet IOCT record is quite the feat,” Patterson said. “It takes excellent agility, balance, coordination … but most of all it takes great mental toughness.

“It is no question that Josh has great God-given talents that he honed before arriving at West Point, but he has taken those talents to a whole other level through hard work and training. The grit that he has put on display for all to see is the stuff heroes are made of,” Patterson added.

The race includes a series of obstacles on the bottom part of the course like jumping through tires and climbing up a rope. Ultimately, cadets must race on the upper track part of the course to achieve their final time.

“The most challenging (part) for me is up top on the track,” Bassette said. “I can run the bottom part pretty smoothly but just having the guts to not break down and have good form.”

Bassette’s hard work has been shown throughout his four years at West Point. He said that a lot of his preparation came during his Plebe and Yearling years. During that time, his older brother was trying to break the record.

“So my brother, he graduated in 2014, ran a 2:03 and he was a second behind (the record),” Bassette said. “But he hurt his hamstring his second semester of his firstie year, so he didn’t end up getting it, and he left it up to me.”

Bassette made sure not to let his brother down and continued to prepare and became a member of the Obstacle Course Racing Team.

“We do pretty much everything … Weight lifting, running, intervals, strength, core, just full body fitness, so it’s great,” Bassette said. “I think there’s no better team to prepare you for (the IOCT) and just as a Soldier and athlete.”

The one thing that he can’t prepare for, though, is the notorious dry air in Hayes Gym and the hindered breathing that comes along with it.

“If affects me for at least a couple days after,” Bassette noted. “You’re coughing up mucus, I have raspy breathing too, and it’s just not comfortable. I usually get a headache after it, and that lasts a while. So it’s not that fun to run.”

But regardless of the race not being “comfortable” or “fun,” Bassette wants to complete it again.

While there is no requirement he has to fulfill, Bassette has set one more target in mind.

“I would like to break two (minutes), that’s the overall goal,” he said.

Bassette is hoping to complete the course one more time and surpass the overall record held by Capt. Austin Wilson, a former DPE instructor, who holds a time of 1:59.

“I want to do it one more time, and maybe again if I have to, but I really just want to break it, just go under two,” Bassette said. “Faculty here and cadets in my company, they want to see me break the overall and they were really happy for me when I broke the cadet record.”

Make sure to watch out for Josh during the next waves of IOCT testing on April 29 and May 6.

Upon graduation, Bassette will be going to Fort Benning, Georgia, to complete the Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course, followed by Ranger School and will eventually be posted at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

Hopefully by then, he’ll hold the overall IOCT record.