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Fastrax Blue lost original team member Kelley Frederickson on May 20 when she died in her sleep in the middle of a training camp in Perris. Perris Fury's Center Outside, Chrity Frikken, filled the slot for the remainder of the 2008 season and at the World Meet 2008 where the US team won the silver medals after an exciting 1-point race with Bodyflight Storm.
Team speaker Erin Murphy announced shortly after the USPA Nationals 2008 what her team was planning as the next step to fill the point slot for a longer time period:
"The US Women's 4-way Team, Fastrax Blue, is looking for a 4th teammate. Fastrax Blue members Becky Brocato, Brianne Thompson, and Erin Murphy, silver medalists at the 2008 World Championships, are looking to continue competing together with the goal of winning the next World Championships in 2010 in the female category. The team is planning to hold preliminary try-outs between December 7-9 at the Paraclete XP wind tunnel in Raeford, NC. The team can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information."
"After a weekend of tryouts at the Paraclete XP wind tunnel, we have found a new teammate! Former Arizona Divewerkz member Annaliese Peterson has accepted the open Fastrax Blue slot. Annie's competition experience and enthusiasm made her the perfect fit for Blue. We are now looking forward to planning for the upcoming season with our talented new point flyer!"
The NSL News had just covered her former team, Arizona Divewerkz, not too long ago. The story on 7 November 2008 introduced AZDW as the winner of the "amateur championship" at the USPA Nationals 2008 and covered the whole history of the team and its team members. The story included a video of a live interview in the NSL/PD News studio in Eloy.
The story concluded with the team's statement that Annaliese Peterson, Blane Boynton, Cindy Nieves and Chad Smith were not ready to talk about the 2009 season so shortly after the 4-way competition at the USPA Nationals 2008. They admitted that the 20-point average is "dangerously close and hard to ignore". The AZDW members said that they needed a week to celebrate and recover before discussing the future of Arizona Divewerkz.
The move from Arizona Divewerkz to Fastrax Blue brings Annie Peterson already closer to the 20-point average than she was with her former team - even without a training jump so far. AZDW finished with an impressive 19.0 average at the USPA Nationals and clearly outscored her three future team mates in Eloy. However, Fastrax Blue with Christy Frikken had already posted a 19.8 average after the six rounds at the World Meet 2008 in August.
Becky Brocato (Tail), Brianne Thompson (Center Inside), Erin Murphy (Center Outside) and Annie Peterson have obviously been performing on almost exactly the same level, and it could be a perfect match. The new Fastrax Blue lineup still has to figure out the slots though. The new member will also have to learn a new and different position. The starting point of the team could be affected by that to a certain extent.
Annie Peterson was driving the AZDW engine from the Center Inside position that Brianne Thompson has for Fastrax Blue. She knows all the tricks of the rear piece and now has to get familiar with the whole front piece and her new point slot.
It will be a challenge for her, however, her new Fastrax Blue team mates must have been impressed enough with her point flying skills during the tunnel training since they voted for her. The NSL News will follow up with more information and the Fastrax Blue plans for 2009.