Best Ranger day stakes
Team 21's SFC Chad Stackpole of 4th Ranger Training Battalion, Fort Benning, Ga., tackles the tri-tower challenge Saturday during the Ranger Day Stakes portion of the 2009 David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning. Team 21, which also includes SFC Blake Simms, was in first place anmong the 26 teams that made it to day two of the competition.

FORT BENNING, Ga. - Twenty-six of 49 teams remain as the 2009 Best Ranger Competition heads into day two. Following a night of road marching, night stakes and combat training tasks overflowing into the late morning today, SFC Blake Simms and SFC Chad Stackpole, of 4th Ranger training Brigade, were leading the pack with 1197 points.

2007 BRC winner MSG Walter Zajkowski and teammate MSG Daniel Jenkins, 2002 BRC winner, both of U.S. Army Special Operations Command, were in second with 1168 points.

Jenkins and Zajkowski eclipsed Simms and Stackpole by one second in the Tri-Tower Challenge in the early afternoon and current standings have not been released.

MSG Eric Turk and SGM Jesse Boettcher, also of U.S. Army Special Operations Command, rounded out the top with 1079 points.

Forty teams went into the road march Friday night after a start delay of more than three hours. Nine teams were eliminated prior to the march due to injury or disqualification.

Maj. Boone, operations officer for Ranger Training Brigade, said the Soldiers are tired and morale is still high.

Aca,!A"Those who got ahead in the buddy runs and Darby Queen events yesterday got a little more rest last night,Aca,!A? Boone said. Aca,!A"There are a lot of second-time competitors who know how to pace themselves and maintain energy.Aca,!A?

Boone said the remaining teams moved on the elite stage with the road march.

With a time of 4 hours and 23 minutes, Simms and Stackpole led the pack on FridayAca,!a,,cs 18-mile road march after finishing at the top in the previous event, the expedient litter carry.

The night stakes event began at 5:30 a.m. today with weapons assembly, a mystery event and administering an Intravenous line. The event was followed by an equipment layout, at which time teams were penalized for any missing equipment.

The remaining teams headed into day stakes and the tri-tower challenge at Todd Field at 10 a.m. Day stakes events include two mystery events, demo, FBCB2, grenade assault course, Ranger first responder and a stress shoot at Brinson Field.

FBCB2, Force Battle Command Brigade and Below is a command platform to transmit information across the battle space. In the evening, the Soldiers will conduct the orienteering challenge, which will carry on to Sunday morning.

Boone said the biggest challenge the competitors face today is from heat.

Aca,!A"The Tri-Tower Challenge is physically demanding but he night orienteering may be the most difficult if the Soldiers donAca,!a,,ct stay properly hydrated throughout the day. If they donAca,!a,,ct, it can affect them during the night (events),Aca,!A? Boone said.

Boettcher said prior to the Tri-Tower Challenge he wouldAca,!a,,cve said the biggest challenge he faced in the competition was the road march.

Boettcher is a first-time competitor and his team was third in the standings at the beginning of day two as they compete alongside front-runners Simms, Stackpole, Zajkowski and Jenkins.

While the teams prepared for the days challenges, friends and family members gathered to watch.

Aca,!A"If anybody can finish this after running the Darby Queen yesterday, kudos to them,Aca,!A? said Barby Morris, mother of first-place competitor Stackpole.

Morris said she and the family members of both Stackpole and Simms gathered today and wore matching t-shirts to support the team.

This is StackpoleAca,!a,,cs second year competing in the BRC, said his mother.

Aca,!A"He took fifth place last year after finishing the first day in 16th place,Aca,!A? she said.
This year, Morris said she sees a difference in his performance.

Aca,!A"He knows what to expect. ItAca,!a,,cs in his mind now,Aca,!A? Morris said. Aca,!A"HeAca,!a,,cs like a well-oiled machine.Aca,!A?

Jenkins and Zajkowski are the main competition for Simms and Stackpole.

Jenkins and Zajkowski are a unique team because both competitors have won this competition on different teams, Boone said.

Aca,!A"However, (Simms and Stackpole) are making the pace for this competition,Aca,!A? Boone said.

Page last updated Sat May 9th, 2009 at 15:34