The finals for the 2007 5.11 Challenge were the closest in the competition's four-year history. After eight weeks of competitive shooting in Montana, the two-man U.S. Border Patrol team from Alamogordo, N.M., squeezed out first place with the last shot of the event.
On the eighth and final stage, Federal Agents Charlie Exum and Dale Young were about 70 points behind Officers Bryan Weathers and Jason Stearns of Edmond (Okla.) Police Department. The last two shots of the event were at two 5.11 Challenge coins placed 115 yards away with the .308 caliber Remington Light Tactical Rifle, Model 700. Each officer got a shot at the coin target, valued at 50 points each. Exum and Young both hit the coins while Stearns and Weathers missed by only one-quarter of an inch. The entire competition boiled down to those two shots after all eight stages.
Exum and Young received a total score of 4551 points. Weathers and Stearns were only 29 points behind with a score of 4540. The team from Homeland Security in Pascagoula, Mississippi—Brian Stout and Mike Sauls—were not far behind with a score of 4413.
All three two-man teams shot eight stages during the finals. Skills tested included using remote cameras to identify targets, shooting in low light, shotgun and rifle shooting, trap shooting, and shooting from different positions such as prone and kneeling.
For the last stage, the competitors shot the .308 Caliber Remington 700 LTR with a Leupold Mark 4 scope. The rifle was mounted on Lonestar's VRStm Spec-Rest. Each officer had three targets to shoot at from 115 yards. Two of the targets were four inches in diameter and one was the very small 5.11 Challenge Coin. As stated earlier, it was the last two shots by the last two competitors (Exum and Young) that decided the final outcome of the 2007 5.11 Challenge. They were the only officers to hit all of their targets.
As the grand champion team of the 5.11 Challenge, Agents Exum and Young will receive an equipment package from participating sponsors valued at $100,000. All 32 two-person teams involved in the competition walked away with apparel and gear from 5.11 Tactical.
For more information about this year's competition and how to participate in next year's event, visit www.511challenge.com.