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Hillery, Scott named Athletes of Year on Camp Pendleton

CAMP PENDLETON – On July 1, 2010 Captain Robert Hillery was selected as a 2009 Athlete of the Year for Camp Pendleton, along with IMEF Gunnery Sgt. Quiana Scott.

Colonel Nick Marano introduced the two award winners and told the small group of friends and family that had gathered to witness the award presentation, “Not only was the award an honor to receive, but presenting it was an honor itself.”

Captain Robert Hillery was described as an “Ironman.”

“You would think that would be enough of a resume in itself, but he competed in a total of 37 endurance events in 2009,” explained Marano.

Hillery raced in 19 marathons including the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C., seven sanctioned triathlons that included the “big one” in Hawaii, The Kona Hawaii Ironman, three ultra marathons, and several shorter races that ranged from five to 15 kilometers.

In many cases, for Hillery running and competing wasn’t enough. He solicited sponsorship to help raise money for the Semper Fi Fund and single-handedly raised more than $11,000 for the organization.

“I didn’t even know that this award existed,” said Hillery. “My XO and CO brought me in and said that they wanted to nominate me.”

“It was humbling and I was appreciative to know that they thought of me in that light,” he added. “It was awesome.”

For Gunnery Sgt. Scott, the journey to the ceremony was a long one, returning home for rest and relaxation with her family for two weeks from Afghanistan, where she is a little over half way through a one year tour.

“When I read the email over there from my coach that I had been selected for the award, I was shocked and more than honored,” said Scott. “But it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for my teammates. They are the ones that got me here.”

Scott is one of Camp Pendleton’s premier basketball players. She played for the women’s varsity team averaging 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots a game.

In April, 2009 she was selected to captain the Women’s All Marine Basketball team at the Armed Forces Championships in Millington, Tenn.

Demonstrating great athleticism, skill and leadership in the Armed Forces tournament she was subsequently selected to represent the United States as a member of the All Armed Forces squad but due to operational commitments to prepare for her deployment to Afghanistan she was not able to attend.

Along with the trophies and the recognition of being the best athletes on board Camp Pendleton, the athletes of the year were presented checks for $1,000 each from CWO Gary Conners who is the CFO for the CWO3 Shaun Harrison Foundation.

“Shaun was a great athlete and an avid triathlete who was hit by a car and killed while he was training,” said Conners. “Our goal is to support medical missions, bicycle safety, wounded warriors and Marines that exhibit exceptional athletic performance.”

In order to help wounded warriors, Captain Robert Hillery is asking residents to donate $1 to every race he participates in for the remainder of 2010, and to ask five friends to do the same. For more information, visit


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