Max Michel of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, in what has to be the most stunningly dramatic shooting match ever!
That's right...close, but no cigar.
It all came down to the last stage, the Speed Option, with J.J. Racaza solidly ahead, Doug Koenig roughly a couple of seconds behind and nobody else really in the running. Up until that point, J.J. had been having the match of his life...all he needed to do was cruise for the match and the $25,000. Doug had (for him...not us mere mortals) a so-so series of runs, but realistically, it was J.J.'s match to lose. We figured him at 71 seconds and change, based on what he's done oon the stage in the past.
The Speed Option ate him alive.
Max Michel, with no idea that he was even in contention, stepped up the the line and blistered the stage. You could hear the pocket calculators whirring, then Todd Jarrett, a close friend of Max's, stepped foward and said, "Congratulations, dude!"
Max said, "For what?"
BTW, Max is from New Orleans, and his family lost everything...including the gifts for his wife's baby shower! More on this later...