The Altus Firefighters “Team Dr Pepper” competed in the national championship competition for the firefighter combat challenge this past weekend in Dallas, Texas. It was a successful trip with two National Championships and a new world record.
Tommy Sadler and Chuck Leblanc from Leominster, Mass., became the first over 65 Tandem team to successfully complete the course, establishing a new World Record of 2:21.29 and a new division. It is Sadler’s second world record. He was on the Over 40 Dr Pepper relay team that set a world record in their national championship race in 2004. They went on win the world championship that year.
“That was awesome,” said team member Jimmy Rogers. “Tommy inspires so many competitors from all over the United States, he’s definitely a legend in our sport!”
Jimmy Rogers and Terry Hawkins (Tyler, Texas) won the Over 50 tandem national championship, edging out the FDIC tandem (Tulsa/Nebraska) with a time of 1:33. The tandem is two competitors each performing half of the course, and the times are matched against other teams in their category.
The Over 50 relay team was crowned national champions for posting the fastest relay time nationally through the 17 events held throughout United States this season. They raced in the Over 40 relay tournament and placed third. This marks the teams’ 5th national title in the relay division.
The open relay from Altus ran their fastest time of the year with a 1:15. It was good enough to place them sixth out of 24 teams. They were less than one second off of the state record held by the 2007 open “Dr Pepper” team.
Jake Babcock ran the individual in 1:43, falling just shy of the Lion’s Den induction this year. He finished 28th out of 112 competitors.
Tommy Sadler successfully completed the course in 3:08, and was the oldest competitor at the competition, receiving the “Iron Horse” award.
Other tandem teams from Altus were:
Jake Babcock and Matt Mordecai (McKinney, Texas) ran a 1:21 after a dropping the baton, and possibly costing them a medal. They finished eighth.
Michael Grayson and Jeff Wright (Irving, Texas) ran a personal record of 1:40, placing them fourth in the tandem Over 40 division.
Chase Duncan and Blake Dwyer (AAFB) ran a 1:35 placing them 28th.
Blake Dwyer (AAFB) teamed with Josh Landry (Arlington, Texas) and ran a 1:43 to finish at 32nd.
The next action for the Altus firefighters will be the world championships in two weeks in Montgomery, Ala.