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It's not only Arizona Airspeed having to defend the national 4way title, which has been in Eloy consecutively since 2007. The US teams are also trying to fend off the challenging UK teams who try to win the bragging rights for the biggest 4way outdoor competition in the world. It will probably be easier for Airspeed to win the next set of 4way gold medals than for the US teams to beat this year's UK number of 75 teams at the national championships.
DeLand Groove (Ian Bobo, Shannon Pilcher, Gary Smith, Solly Williams, with Jonathan Taggle on camera) was the last team that won USPA gold medals before Airspeed took over in 2007. Airspeed's Odyssey lineup (Andy Delk, Craig Girard, Mark Kirkby, Eliana Rodriguez, with Will Pesek on camera) won the USPA Nationals four times between 2007 and 2010.
|USPA Nationals 2006||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Rd. 4||Rd. 5||Rd. 6||Rd. 7||Rd. 8||Rd. 9||Rd. 10||Total||Avg|
|2||Russia Black Cat||17||19||24||23||20||17||19||19||29||31||218||21.8|
|6||Golden Knights Black||19||16||23||21||20||15||19||19||24||20||196||19.6|
The rest of the 4way world is not wondering whether Airspeed is going to win or not. The focus of the direct international competition from Belgium (NMP-PCH Hayabusa), Russia (Barkli), France (Aerodyne Maubeuge) and Canada (Evolution) will be set on the Airspeed numbers on the scoreboard.
The new Airspeed lineup had posted their first scores at the Paraclete XP Outdoor Championship 2013 (22.9) where Barkli and Evolution competed, as well. The Russian national team had finished only five points behind Airspeed in DeLand.
|Paraclete XP Outdoor 2013||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Rd. 4||Rd. 5||Rd. 6||Rd. 7||Rd. 8||Rd. 9||Rd. 10||Total||Avg|
|1||Arizona Airspeed (US)||21||23||19||28||33||20||22||19||25||19||229||22.9|
|5||SDC Rhythm XP (US)||17||18||17||25||28||21||21||15||19||15||196||19.6|
|6||Carolina Turbo XP (US)||17||17||16||22||25||22||19||14||18||12||182||18.2|
There is much more to the USPA Nationals than only the Airspeed performance, and the Sun Path Products NSL News will cover as much as possible of all the other internal battles and stories live from Ottawa, as well. USPA silver and bronze medals are also very popular, and they are never coming easily in any of the three USPA 4way categories (AAA/Open, AAA/Advanced, AA/Intermediate).
SDC Rhythm XP will have to defend the team's first Open Class silver medals of 2012 against Paraclete XP4 and any Golden Knights Open Class lineup. However, Rhythm will surely not look behind, as Airspeed is the main target. Rhythm is the underdog, of course, but the new lineup with Christy Frikken and Mikhail Markine is once again planning to get as close as possible to the very top of the leaderboard.
|USPA Nationals 2012||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Rd. 4||Rd. 5||Rd. 6||Rd. 7||Rd. 8||Rd. 9||Rd. 10||Total||Avg|
|1||Arizona Airspeed (US)||30||28||24||23||34||22||28||19||20||37||265||26.5|
|2||SDC Rhythm XP (US)||30||24||23||24||25||21||25||17||19||30||238||23.8|
|4||Golden Knights (US)||23||22||20||22||24||17||21||16||17||26||208||20.8|
|6||Paraclete XP4 (US)||22||19||17||20||23||17||19||15||15||23||190||19.0|
|7||Carolina Turbo XP (US)||22||18||16||19||21||15||20||15||14||19||179||17.9|
|7||AZ Plosion (US)||21||17||17||19||21||17||17||15||13||22||179||17.9|
Then there is also DNR coming back with almost exactly the same lineup. Original Mass Defiance member John Silva is replacing Steve Johnson. Jim "Malibu" Klinge is now competing with three original Mass Defiance members. Center Inside Ben Liston said that everything between 18- and 21-average seems to be possible.
Ari Perelman and Nick Grillet were trying to challenge DNR last year for the unofficial US amateur title with AZ Plosion, together with Melanie Curtis and Sally Hathaway. They have a new lineup this year and try again with player coach Shannon Pilcher and Don Burnette. This could become more challenging for DNR this time...