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Did You Know...

... that the 2005 Army team is the strongest one that John Hoover has ever been on?

Golden Knights - the US Army team
posted Jan 19th, 2005 - The NSL News currently tries to introduce all the teams that will most likely be in contention for the top ranks of the AAA/Open Class in the upcoming 2005 season. DeLand Fire, the newly formed team with Natasha Montgomery, Gary Smith, Shannon Pilcher, Ian Bobo and Thomas Hughes was the first team in this series. Arizona Airspeed's Craig Girard then provided an update from the team's headquarters in Eloy, Arizona, while the NSL News was waiting for news from the Golden Knights and met with team Fastrax at SkyVenture Orlando.

Golden Knights' team captain and multi world and national champion, John Hoover, recently finalized the update for his team and provided the NSL News with profiles of the team members and up-to-date information. The Golden Knights are currently training in AZ for the up and coming year. They are keeping the same lineup that competed at the 2004 USPA Nationals in Perris Valley, California. Team captain John Hoover was not willing to talk about his planned training regiment, but was all to willing to talk about his team:

John Hoover
"This is the strongest Golden Knights team I have ever been on. It is like going to work with your best friends every day and all you have to do is eat, sleep and skydive. I look forward to the 05-training year and cannot wait to see how far we progress. For everyone that doesn’t know the current members here is our lineup."

Name: John Hoover (outside center)

Number of Jumps: 9,850

Years in the sport: 13

Medals: two 8-way World Championships, five 4-way and 8-way national championships

Hobbies: Writing, reading, working out What you like best about competing: "Of all the things I have done in life, I enjoy competitive skydiving the most. I am certainly blessed in that I do it everyday. I like the technical aspects of the sport, but love the creative nature of each jump."

Brooks Weiner
Name: Brooks W. Weiner (inside center)

Number of Jumps: 5956

Years in the sport: 5

Medals: 4-way and 8-way silver 2004 U.S. Nationals, 8-way silver 2002 World Cup, 8-way silver 2003 U.S. Nationals, 8-way silver 2002 U.S. Nationals

Hobbies: Golf

What you like best about competing: "Having a great time with your friends and doing your best to beat them."

Matt Davidson
Name: Matt Davidson (tail)

Jumps: 11,082

Years in sport: 15

Medals: 1996 U.S. Nationals: 8-way gold, 20-way gold; 1997 World Meet: 8-way gold; 1997 Nationals: 8-way gold, 20-way gold, 10-way silver; 1998 Nationals: 8-way silver, 16-way gold; 1998 World Cup: 8-way gold; 1999 Nationals: 8-way gold, 16-way gold, 4-way bronze, 10-way silver, over all champions; 2003 Nationals: 8-way silver, 16-way gold, 10-way gold; 2004 Nationals: 4-way silver, 8-way silver, 10-way gold, 16-way silver.

Hobbies: Weight training, running, drawing.

What you like best about competing: "There are many things that I like about competing. The first is the discipline over self. Being able to control your emotions, to think positively and succeed under pressure. Secondly, is the sense of accomplishment experienced when the entire team performs at its pinnacle after a long year of intense training, when everything comes together, the thrill of tracking off from round ten knowing you and your team have performed at your peak. Last, but certainly not least is the sense of camaraderie you feel with your teammates; to look at a teammate and smile in the middle of a great jump."

Brian "BK" Krause
Name: SSG Brian "BK" Krause (point)

Number of Jumps: 6,997

Years in the sport: 9

Medals: Four silver and three gold medals in formation events at the US Nationals over the past three years.

Hobbies: Motorcycles and my soon-to-be-born son! What you like best about competing: "Representing the Army and the Golden Knights in the competition arena. Working together with my teammates all year and trying to put out all we learned in ten jumps. The look in everyone's eyes when the team is doing well and defiantly, the sick feeling I get in my stomach on round one."

Larry Miller
Name: Larry "the Camera Guy" Miller

Number of Jumps: 1635

Years in the sport: 12

Medals: 2004 silver medals in 4-way, 8-way and 16-way, gold medal in 10-way

Hobbies: computers, family and reading

What you like best about competing: "Meeting new people and learning from new experiences. I like the trill of competition and being around my teammates."

Golden Knights celebrate their victory at the end of the 2002 season at Skydive Chicago
2004 was a building year for the Army team after three of the Army's silver medalists at the Mondial 2003 in France retired after the meet, and only John Hoover continued. The Mondial line-up was put together in 2001 when the Army management decided to shift the focus from 8-way to 4-way. The Golden Knights had lost the 8-way against Airspeed at the USPA Nationals 2000 and would miss another World Meet. It was time for a change.

John Hoover (point), Eric Heinsheimer (tail), Kurt Isenberger (center outside), Chris Talbert (center inside) and Sean Capegreco (video) began with serious 4-way training and peaked when the Golden Knights won the USPA Championship 2002 at Skydive Chicago. The new national 4-way team represented the U.S.A. at the Mondial 2003 and came home with silver medals after finishing behind the French team from Maubeuge.

4-way wward ceremony at the Mondial 2003
The Army team planned to get back into the traditional 8-way competition of the Golden Knights after the World Meet in 2003. However, the efforts to build a new 8-way team did not materialize in 2004, and the focus shifted once again fully on the 4-way event.

The 4-way community will be glad to see the Golden Knights more often this year. Hopefully, the new Army team will repeat what the 2002 line-up did. The Golden Knights 2002 attended a total of seven meets and posted impressive scores (19.9 - 22.0 - 20.2 - 21.0 - 23.0 - 23.7 - 21.8), including the league meets in Carolina. The 2002 season was very successful for the Army team. There could be a good reason to use a similar strategy for the 2005 season.

Golden Knights 2004 and 2005 line-up
image by: Omniskore
Team captain John Hoover briefly provided an overview of the 2005 competition schedule for the Golden Knights. It shows that the new team will be out there at several meets: "The Knights plan to compete in the SSL Valentine's Meet in Eloy, AZ, the FSL Shamrock Showdown in Deland, FL, and the Carolina Skydiving League meets in Raeford, NC. Beyond that the Knights are busy doing 10 jumps a day and trying to get ahead of the competition."

The Valentine's Meet is only little over three weeks away. The first top scores of the 2005 season will be posted by Airspeed and the Golden Knights at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. The NSL News will continue with updates and soon compare the top teams directly with each other. Stay tuned.

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