Soldier in finals at Modern Pentathlon World Cup in Palm Springs

Team USA's Dennis Bowsher, who is an Army Spc. and 2012 Olympian, had the lead of his group going into the combined 3km cross-country race and shooting event and finished second for the group during the men's qualifier at the 2013 World Cup of Modern Pentathlon in Palm Springs, Calif. on Wednesday, February 20, 2013. During the qualifier, athletes compete in four events including epee fencing, 200mm freestyle swim, and the combined run and shoot. During the finals, show jumping will be added. Crystal Chatham/The Desert Sun

A Fort Carson, Colorado soldier is in the men’s final of the Modern Pentathlon World Cup today in Palm Springs.

Army Spc. Dennis Bowsher, is the only American to advance to today’s finals. He’ll be competing against 2012 Olympic gold medalist David Svoboda of Czech Republic and and bronze medalist Adam Marosi of Hungary. Also in the field is world #1 ranked Aleksender Lesun of Russia.

Team USA's Dennis Bowsher nears the finish line in the combined 3km cross-country race and shooting event to qualify for the finals at the 2013 World Cup of Modern Pentathlon in Palm Springs, Calif. on Wednesday. Crystal Chatham/The Desert Sun

During Wednesday’s men’s qualifying round, Bowsher started the final event — a combined run and shoot — in the lead for Qualification Group C. He scored a personal best 1032 in fencing, and 1264 in swimming with a time of 2:08.16. He finished the combined event second with a time of 12:12.85 after only Christopher Patte of France who came in at 12:07.17.

Another service member, Air Force Reserve Maj. Eli Bremer, was the top American in Qualification Group A. He finished 14th for the group, but did not make the cut for today’s final.

Bowsher is part of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) which provides soldiers with elite-level athletic qualifications to represent the Army while they train and compete. Though Bowsher travels on the competition circuit, he is a soldier first and had to apply for the WCAP after basic combat training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and advanced individual training (AIT) where he became an 88M Motor Transport Operator.

A 2012 London Olympics veteran, Bowsher told The Desert Sun sports reporter Patti Myers he is focused on Rio de Janiero in 2016. “Rio is gonna’ be our main focus and the main push for everything leading up that point,” he said. “Everything I learn from here it’s gonna be something I put in my bag for Rio.”

He and the rest of the finals field started the morning with fencing. The other four events will follow with swimming at 12:25 p.m., horse jumping at 2:35 p.m., and the combined 3km run with shooting between laps tonight at 5:25 p.m. The event’s presentation is scheduled at 5:55 p.m. All events are within walking distance of each other at Palm Springs Stadium and Sunrise Park in Palm Springs.

Two servicemen competing in Modern Pentathlon World Cup

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Herbert Temple, Jr. meets with service members and Team USA pentathletes and Olympians Army Spc. Dennis Bowsher (left) and Air Force Reserve Maj. Eli Bremer (right) after the opening ceremony of the 2013 World Cup of Modern Pentathlon in Palm Springs, Calif. on Tuesday, February 19, 2013. Crystal Chatham/The Desert Sun

A pair of servicemen, both Olympians, are competing in this week’s World Cup of Modern Pentathlon, currently underway in Palm Springs.

Army Spc. Dennis Bowsher and Air Force Reserve Maj. Eli Bremer are set to compete in this week’s event.

They carry on a legacy of service member pentathletes in a list that includes Gen. George S. Patton, who competed in modern pentathlon at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. Helen Patton, the general’s granddaughter, offered the keynote address at Tuesday’s opening ceremony.

After the opening ceremonies, both Bowsher and Bremer were greeted by retired Army Lt. Gen. Herbert Temple, Jr. who also spoke at the competition’s kickoff. During his speech, Temple challenged all the athletes to “be audacious.”

Throughout the week athletes will compete in five events including epee fencing, 200mm freestyle swim, show jumping, laser shooting, and a 3km cross-country race.

Bowsher, who is stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado, competed for Team USA in London at the 2012 Olympic games and placed 32nd overall with a point total of 5324. He is training for the next 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Bowsher completed Basic Combat Training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, and is trained as an Army 88M Motor Transport Operator for his occupational specialty.

He applied for and is now part of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) which offers elite-level athletic training to soldier-athletes in Olympic sports. Soldiers are selected from active duty, Army Reserve, and the National Guard. On the Army WCAP website, the program is described as “A program that provides outstanding Soldier-athletes the support and training to compete and succeed in national and international competitions leading to Olympic and Paralympic Games, while maintaining a professional military career and promoting the U.S. Army to the world.” The program falls under the Army’s Recruiting Command and is an outreach tool to promote a positive image of the Army.

Bremer competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and comes to the Palm Springs event from Colorado Springs. According to his website, Bremer is a 2000 Air Force Academy graduate and competed for the Academy in swimming and fencing. After graduating, he was part of the Air Force’s World Class Athlete Program, which is similar to the Army’s WCAP detailed above. He earned an MBA from University of Colorado in 2006 and co-founded a corporate motivational training company, 5Ring Insight, in 2008. He continues to serve as a reservist and reports to Robins Air Force Base in Georgia when not in Colorado Springs.

Both athletes will compete in the Men’s Qualifying Round on Wednesday at venues located at Sunrise Park in Palm Springs. During the qualifiers, athletes compete in four out of five events with equestrian show jumping left for the finals and mixed relay days only.