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Did You Know...

... that Dallas 350 and Spaceland Lite have their tie-breaker at the USPA Nationals 2015?

Dallas 350 members after the 202-way
posted Oct 18th, 2015 - Dallas 350 members Scott Levy, Scott Latinis, and Jim Rees have just returned from their participation in the 202-way World Record Sequential Event in Perris, CA. Both Scott Levy and Scott Latinis flew slots in the successful formation while Jim Rees was part of the 3-person panel of international judges that put their stamp on the new world record.

Dallas 350 has been a meteoric 4-way rise for two of the members. Scott Levy and Lucas King first went to the USPA Nationals in 2009 on an intermediate 8-way team. Just four years later their 8-way coach, Ron Hill, would become their Dallas 350 team mate. Ron Hill was coaching the 8-way team, and at the same time in Dallas Scott Latinis and Ron Hill were on the Dallas Rogue 8-way team and took Scott Levy and Lucas King under their wings. Both wanted to try out for Rogue, but Rogue had strict requirements to be considered.

You needed an Open Class 8-way medal, or a 15+ average at USPA Nationals in 4-way. Rogue only lasted two years. When that team disbanded, it provided an opportunity for Lucas King and Scott Levy to try and grab members of the Rogue team as coaches for a new project.

USPA Nationals 2013Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA ClassG,9,C,PF,5,151,E,84,M,7H,N,B,O,314,20,LQ,K,12,1711,16,1910,A,182,22,DTotalAvg
11Spaceland Lite 2013121618131312121314214.2
5Dallas 350 21141417181214711713513.5
USPA Nationals 2012
image by: Omniskore

Written by Ron Hill

In 2012, Lucas King and Scott Levy went to USPA Nationals for their first time to compete in 4-way, but with absolutely no training to see what all the excitement in 4-way was all about. They grabbed experienced Dallas jumper Ron Shipp and hired player coach Christopher Irwin. The pick-up team scored a 9.8 average in USPA's Intermediate Class, and they were hooked.

The next year, the duo finally managed to get Ron Hill as the player coach. The 4th member of the team was Greg Mirkin who had been team mates with Ron Hill's wife Heather. The new team had an aggressive plan, as they wanted to be qualified for Scott Latinis' and Ron Hill's next 8-way project, and that meant they needed a 15-average.

The plan was aggressive, going from a 9.8 average to 15+ and the team knew it would have to be a multi-year project to make it. The training was going well, the first match-up between SpaceLand Lite and Dallas 350 happened at the Dallas Super Cup in August 2013.

USPA Nationals 2014Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA ClassL,F,3,D8,C,Q,A9,G,11P,1,B,H16,N,156,K,J,1913,14,174,O,2021,10,227,2,12TotalAvg
1Dallas 350 1817172014161112131315115.1
10Spaceland Lite 1314141813161010101112912.9
USPA Nationals 2013
image by: Omniskore

Edited by SKYLEAGUE.COM

Lite handily defeated 350 with a 14.0 average vs 350's 11.8. Disaster struck 350 when after a routine malfunction 350's tail, Greg Mirkin, broke his arm on landing. 350 were left searching for a replacement and used world class jumper Solly Williams at the USPA Nationals in Chicago that year. With six training jumps 350 posted a 13.5 average at their first national championships in the AAA/Advanced Class.

350 actually had a good first day as shown by the Texas rivalry with Spaceland Lite. 350 was up by five points going into round seven.

The second day did not go as well for 350. A bad exit in Round 8 cost the team five points in that round and was tying up both teams. 350 then lost that Round 9 to the Texans from down south by one point. Round 10 brought a brain lock, and six more points were lost for 350. Dallas 350 had gone from a 5-point lead to seven points down in three rounds. But this was not the last time these two teams would meet...

Paraclete XP Indoor 2015Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA ClassD,2,84,J,B,1714,19,P1,L,2011,21,GQ,C,H,223,12,5M,E,16,9N,10,6K,7,O,15TotalAvg
9Spaceland Lite 1518161818191526151817817.8
10Dallas 350 1719161618151625152017717.7
USPA Nationals 2014
2014 left Dallas 350 in need of a new tail. Greg Mirkin had decided to dial back his skydiving and focus more on work and his new wife Gretchen. Luckily for 350, Scott Latinis would re-join his former Rogue team mate, and with some slot changes, moving Ron Hill from inside to outside, Scott Levy from outside to tail and Scott Latinis taking the IC center slot, the team started off on a high note at the Texas Shootout with a 14.5 average at Spaceland.

Lite as a complete team was not available to compete due to Christy West's medical issues, so there was no direct head-to-head competition in 2014 until the USPA Nationals.

Dallas 350 had a good year in 2014 winning every meet they attended, including two TSL meets and the USPA Nationals in the AAA/Advanced Class with a 15.1 average, where Lucas King and Scott Levy finally got their 15-averages.

Dallas Super Cup 2015Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6TotalAvg
RankAAA Class14,13,24,8,2215,18,L5,C,1021,20,9F,K,O,11TotalAvg
1Dallas 3501311131515188514.2
2Spaceland Lite1111131313198013.3
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Dallas 350's 2015 lineup
The final meet for this 350 lineup was the inaugural iFLY Dallas tunnel meet, where 350 turned an 18.2 average. This was the end of this 350 lineup. Early in the 2014 season, Ron Hill and Scott Levy had both been experiencing shoulder problems. In fact, Ron Hill ended up head-jamming many exits because of his inability to hold the bar as Outside Center.

There were several training days that had to be called early, so they could rest their shoulders and avoid surgery. The teams shoulder issues along Ron Hill's new hobby of aerobatic flying led to his decision that it was time to leave the team: "I would have loved to continue, but between the travel, trying to avoid shoulder surgery, and the new hobby I just had to leave".

Dallas 350 grabbed yet another former Rogue jumper with Jim Rees for the 2015 season. Jim Rees took the challenge of learning the OC slot, and with no training started the year at the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship 2015 with a 17.7 average. The next competition was the Dallas Super Cup, and 350 won with a 14.2 average. The USPA Nationals 2015 will be the next competition between Spaceland Lite and Dallas 350. In the Air, the Texas teams are tied at two a piece: "I think both teams are planning Nationals 2015 to be a tie breaker..."

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