The Altus firefighters competed in a combat challenge competition in Las Vegas over the weekend.
This is our 15th year to compete.
They went with high expectations. They came home from the Tyler, Texas Regional two weeks ago with 19 medals. It was their most successful event, as far as hardware goes, and they were healthy and ready for the World Championships.
They ran three preliminary days and qualified for the finals in the following categories:
Open Relay - Team Dr Pepper (Blake Hasty, Jake Babcock, Drew George, Michael Grayson, and Ralph Walker) The team ran well, winning 2 races before losing in the third round to last years World Champions from Westminster, Colorado. They finished as one of the top 16 teams in the world.
Over 50 Relay - Team Dr Pepper 50+ (Tommy Sadler, Randy Gipson, Ralph Walker,
Kenny Ward, and Jimmy Rogers)
The team won the first round and then lost to the World Record holders from Canada. In the consolation finals for third place, the baton took a bad bounce at the top of the tower and got lost in transition, eating up 3-4 seconds on the handoff. They lost a close one by 0.80 seconds. They set a new state record in the Over 50 Relay 1:31.60.
Open Tandem - Team Dr Pepper / FDIC Tulsa Metro (Jake Babcock and Matt Tavalogne) They qualified 9th, but had an excellent run. They cut just over 2 seconds off of their qualifying time and finished in 5th, missing the 3rd place bronze medal by 0.42 seconds. They set a new State Record in the open tandem 1:18.95.
Over 50 Tandem - Team Dr Pepper - Rogers and Kotch (Jimmy Rogers and Steve Kotch, Conway, Arkansas) They qualified 2nd and ran in the finals against the number 1 seed. Jimmy got tangled in the rope at the top of the tower and lost valuable time stopping to remove it. Steve made up ground but fell with the dummy at the end trying to hold on to the lead. He popped up and finished quick enough for them to finish with a 3rd place medal.
Individual - Jimmy Rogers Jimmy had his best time in 6 years and finished 4th in the over 50, and 5th in the Chiefs Category. He set a new State record for both categories.
Michael Grayson ran two tandem runs, turning personal bests, and just missed out on the finals. Tommy Sadler ran an over 60 tandem, but his partner scratched, so it left Tommy without a partner for the finals.
They had some good runs, but made too many mistakes. They normally run clean and leave the mistakes to the other teams, but not this year.
CBS Sports is scheduled to air the event in two segments in late December. Times and dates are to be announced.
The season may not be over. The team is waiting to find out if they qualified for the Cotton Bowl competition in January in Arlington, Texas. The event will take place at the Cowboys Stadium prior to the Jan. 3 College Football Bowl game. It is by invitation only and is exclusive to Lion’s Den members. The Lion’s Den is an award for those achieving a time, based on their age category. Tommy Sadler, Jimmy Rogers, and Kenny Ward are all currently Lion’s Den inductees.