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Airspeed Odyssey moved up from 4th place in 2017 to the bronze medal position last week, which created Airspeed's next USPA double-medal success after the same finish in 1st and 3rd place in 2001. However, Airspeed Odyssey had to work hard to win the bronze medals. Defiance was only three points behind after a very strong finish.
The duel between the two teams consisted of two very different halves. Odyssey won the first four rounds by a total of seven points before Defiance tied a scoring number for the first time at this year's nationals and then won Round 6. Odyssey came back with a 2-point advantage in Round 7, the team's last highscore in this battle.
Defiance won the second half of the meet by three points and with a very strong finish, and Odyssey carried a 3-point lead over the finish line.
USPA Nationals 2018
|2||SDC Rhythm XP||20||25||33||26||20||18||17||21||23||20||223||22.3|
Defiance, with two original Mass Defiance members Brian Stephens and Ben Liston, had indicated in 2017 that they had moved up into a position where they might be able to challenge the former world and U.S. champions. Defiance has been known as one of the best amateur 4-way teams in the world for several years.
It was still an 8-point difference between the two teams at the end of the USPA Nationals 2017, where Defiance posted a new team record average. However, the Defiance statement was made, and both teams knew that this year's competition could create an even closer battle at Chicagoland. The 3-point finish eventually turned out as the closest finish between any teams on the Open Class leaderboard, disregarding Dallas 350's zero for Round 2.
USPA Nationals 2017
|1||NMP PCH HayaBusa||BE||31||33||28||23||25||23||23||22||31||31||270||27.0|
|3||SDC Rhythm XP||US||29||31||28||23||22||20||23||19||28||29||252||25.2|
A year later, Mass Defiance joined Airspeed Odyssey for the first time on the Open Class leaderboard, and both teams competed with the same lineups.
Another year later, Airspeed Odyssey won the USPA Nationals 2007 with a 25.3 average, and Mass Defiance placed 5th with a 19.3 average, right behind the U.S. pro teams. Odyssey then won gold medals at the FAI World Meet 2008 and silver in 2010, while Mass Defiance continued in the USPA Open Class with different lineups.
This year, Odyssey (Eliana Rodriguez, Craig Girard, Andy Delk) and Defiance (Ben Liston, Nick Grillet) members also joined forces in Arizona Airspeed's 8-way lineup for the first time and finished in 2nd place.
USPA Nationals 2006
|6||Golden Knights Black||US||19||16||23||21||20||15||19||19||24||20||196||19.6|