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Did You Know...

... that Sally Hathaway is filling Becky Brocato's Blue slot?

Original Spaceland Blue lineup
image by: Niklas Daniel
posted Aug 28th, 2009 - Yesterday's NSL News story provided a preview of the female 4-way competition at the FAI World Cup 2009. The article mentioned that the NSL News would soon follow up with information of the US team Spaceland Blue.

The Blue members knew already earlier this year that the team agenda would not allow the attendance at the World Cup 2009. However, more difficulties occured when Becky Brocato injured her knee and needed surgery to repair her ACL, as the NSL News reported yesterday.

The needed recovery time would take too long for her and the team to train enough for the USPA Nationals 2009 in October. Blue had to look for a different solution, and they found one, once again.

Fastrax Blue with Kelley Frederickson in 2008
A Blue 3-way is not new, and the team has experiences how to deal with difficulties and challenges. The situation was already similar in 2008 when Becky Broccato, Erin Murphy and Brianne Thompson lost their dear team mate Kelley Frederickson, who died in her sleep at night in the middle of a training camp in Perris.

Perris Fury's Christy Frikken filled the slot for the remainder of the 2008 season, and Fastrax Blue ended up winning silver medals at the World Meet.

This time, Erin Murphy, Brianne Thompson and Annie Peterson had to look for a competitor who could fill Becky Brocato's Tail slot. Sally Hathaway agreed to join the team throughout the USPA Nationals, and Blue has already made some training jumps with her.

Annie Peterson reported that the new lineup is training hard, indoor and outdoor, and slowly builds up the Blue jump numbers. She said that the team is very happy to have Sally Hathaway filling in:

Sally Hathaway with Rodney Cruce in Z-Hills
"Sally was our top choice as alternate to fill in for Becky. She is a great addition to the team and brings talent and competition experience that Spaceland Blue will benefit immensely from.

Sally already had a 4-way team in Z-Hills that she has been training with all season. However, they kindly agreed to let their Point flyer join us for Nationals to support our team and long-term goals to win the women's 4-way FS in Russia next year."

Sally Hathaway surely brings in a lot of competition experience and even knows already how to win a gold medal in the female 4-way category. In fact, she has won already four gold medals, two at World Cups (2000, 2005) and two more at World Championships (2001, 2004). She is the longest standing active female 4-way competitor in the USA ever since she joined the international female 4-way competition with Synchronicity in 2000.

Synchronicity lineup of 2001
Eliana Rodriguez, currently 4-way world champion in the Open Class with Arizona Airspeed, was her team mate in the first Synchronicity lineup of 2000, together with Lilac Hayes and Sally Stewart. The same lineup won the first official IPC gold medals a year later at the World Meet 2001 in Spain.

Sally Hathaway's next Synchronicity lineup at the World Meet 2003 in France consisted of Jaimie Johnson, Jaquelen O'Brien and Kim Glover. Her husband Tony Hathaway was filming her once again. The teams from the United Kingdom and Norway took the first two places this time, and Synchronicity finished with bronze medals.

However, Sally Hathaway came back with the same lineup a year later for the next World Championship in Croatia 2004. This time, the next gold medal made it to her collection in Zephyrhills, Florida. She defended the top position in the female 4-way world a year later at the World Cup 2005 in Eloy.

Becky Brocato and Sally Hathaway with Synchronicity
She also qualified once again with Synchronicity for the World Meet 2006 in Germany after winning the USPA Nationals 2005 over Fastrax/Elsinore Select.

Becky Brocato had now replaced Jaquelen O'Brien and competed together with Sally Hathaway for the first time in 2005. Synchronicity skipped the trip to Europe, and Select competed for the USA in 2006.

The same Synchronicity lineup, with team mates Sally Hathaway and Becky Brocato, posted the highest meet average of all-female teams once again at the USPA Nationals 2006, but the team did not travel to Russia for the World Cup 2007.

Silver medals for Fastrax Blue in 2008
The USPA Nationals 2006 was the last time that Sally Hathaway competed with an all-female lineup at the USPA Nationals until her comeback in this category with Spaceland Blue this year. She competed with FooZa (Joey Jones, Steven Johnson, James Klinge, Sally Hathaway) in the Open Class at the USPA Nationals 2007 and finished with a 19.0 average.

It was the same event where the first Fastrax Blue lineup (Becky Brocato, Kelly Frederickson, Erin Murphy, Brianne Thompson) posted a 17.4 average and qualified as the US female 4-way team for the World Meet in France 2008.

Fastrax Blue, with Christy Frikken for Kelly Frederickson, then won the silver medals in France last year (19.8) and competed with Marie Harrell for Christy Frikken at the USPA Nationals. Sally Hathaway did not compete in Eloy.

Spaceland Blue with Sally Hathaway
image by: Niklas Daniel
Becky Brocato's injury has now brought Sally Hathaway back into the female category for the remainder of the 2009 season. She replaces the only Blue member who she has already trained and competed with in the past.

Erin Murphy, Brianne Thompson and Annie Peterson are a completely new lineup for her. The whole Blue lineup has already scored close to the 20-average mark before, no team member has passed it yet. There is a good chance that this will change in October.

The Blue members will surely watch very carefully what will happen next week at the FAI World Cup 2009. Aerokart Deep Blue, the French national team in the female category, will show what the team has to offer a year before the World Championship of Formation Skydiving in Russia 2009. The US Blue will then follow up a month later.

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