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The combined A Class leaderboard had the highest participation with a total of nine teams from three different leagues.
It was also the last meet test for eight teams who might travel to Skydive Perris very soon to compete at the USPA Nationals 2017. Skydive Midwest NEXT and SDC Jetstream Tango competed in the AAA Class, which Tango took on at national championships for the first time last year, after three years in the AA/Intermediate Class.
SDMW NEXT is the reigning USPA champion in the AAA/Advanced Class and has to compete in the AAA/Open Class this year. The MWSL team seemed to be in great shape two weeks before Round 1 in Perris.
The 17.6 average came from the first seven rounds, and the additional three rounds with faster sequences than average might have lifted the scoring level even higher.
USPA Nationals 2016
|1||Skydive Midwest NEXT XP||16||21||12||13||26||16||31||11||14||9||169||16.9|
|Roster: Matt Congdon (Outside Center), Megan George (Inside Center), Chris Haslam (Tail), Daniele Smythe (Point), Adam Elkin (Video)|
MWSL September 2017
|1||SDMW NEXT XP||22||18||19||15||18||14||17||-||-||-||123||17.6|
|Roster: Matt Congdon (Outside Center), Megan George (Inside Center), Chris Haslam (Tail), Daniele Smythe (Point), Mike Tenpas (Video)|
The parallels between the two teams become even more interesting with a closer look. Rhythm obviously continued and attended five meets in 2009, including all four MWSL meets, before posting an 18.1 average in the AAA/Open Class at the USPA Nationals 2009.
Seven years later, Rhythm has become one of the best 4-way teams in the world, with a set of FAI bronze medals after the FAI World Cup 2017 in the team collection.
NEXT is ready for this year's national championships after three meets of the regular 2017 season, as the 17.6 average last weekend is clearly showing.
In fact, the 17.6 average could have been exactly the same 18.1 average of Rhythm in 2009 without the four point deductions.
USPA Nationals 2008
|1||SDC Rhythm XP||15||19||22||16||12||21||14||16||16||18||169||16.9|
|Roster: JaNette Lefkowitz (Outside Center), Steve Lefkowitz (Point), Laurent Beaudouin (Tail), Brian Ball (Inside Center), Kevin Nafzger (Video)|
USPA Nationals 2009
|6||SDC Rhythm XP||13||17||16||20||18||35||15||13||17||17||181||18.1|
|Roster: JaNette Lefkowitz (Outside Center), Steve Lefkowitz (Point), Laurent Beaudouin (Tail), Rob Radez (Inside Center), Kevin Nafzger (Video)|
Rhythm had personnel changes after the 16.9 in the AAA/Advanced Class of 2008. JaNette and Steve Lefkowitz, Laurent Beaudouin and videographer Kevin Nafzger continued with Rob Radez in 2009, while NEXT has been training and competing this with the same lineup that won the AAA/Advanced Class gold medals last year.
There was actually a personnel change in the NEXT lineup at the end of the 2016 season. Videographer Adam Elkin won the AAA/Advanced Class gold medals with NEXT in his second year with the team. Then he accepted a Rhythm invitation and is now aiming at AAA/Open Class gold medals. He would go from USPA Advanced Class gold to Open Class gold much faster than his former team mates may - if Rhythm wins in Perris...