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Did You Know...

... that the first Arizona Skydiving League meet of the year was a treat for the teams?

Arizona Skydiving League 2019 season opener in Eloy
posted Jan 14th, 2019 - The NSL News announced on 20 December 2018 that the Arizona Skydiving League has a comeback this year, with Eliana Rodriguez and Michelle Karamon managing the activities and organizing the events.

The first meet of the year was successfully completed last weekend, and the four participating teams could enjoy the full attention of the two world class competitors and highly experienced coaches.

In fact, it got even better when current Arizona Airspeed member Mikhail Markine joined Eliana Rodriguez and Michelle Karamon at the ASL season opener on his home turf. He was also player-coaching the Rookie Class team It'll All Be Fine, and his team benefited greatly with impressive Rookie Class scores for the completed six rounds.

Eliana Rodriguez and Michelle Karamon took care of the ground work and provided the free coaching for the other three teams.

Arizona Skydiving League 2019
1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Avg
Rank AAA Class M,6,4 18,N,8 K,H,J,O,3 11,17,10 22,20,P 21,2,A Total Avg
1 AZ Defiance 12    9    17    8    7 -1 11    64 10.7
Rank A Class M,6 N,8 K,H,J P,A,4 O,19 21,2 Total Avg
1 Eggplant 6 -2 7    5    9    10    3 -3 40 6.7
Rank Rookie M,D,C N,B,L K,H,J P,A,F O,G,Q M,E,N Total Avg
1 It'll All Be Fine 7    3    5    5    6    11    37 6.2
2 2 x 2 1 -1 1    0    3    -    -    5 1.3
AZ Defiance at the ASL January meet last weekend
It was the earliest meet in the history of the Arizona Skydiving League, which spun off of the Southwest Skydiving League in 2005. Skydive Arizona was a SWSL host before the separation, and the Valentine's Meet used to be the season opener in February.

However, the weather in the southern states of the U.S.A. allows earlier events, and there was no reason why Eliana Rodriguez and Michelle Karamon could not launch the competition season already in January, as teams use the whole calendar year for indoor and outdoor training and competition.

There are no other 4-way meets at this time of the year, and the ASL teams were by themselves on last weekend's leaderboard. The other currently posted scores were generated at indoor events with different competition draws.

However, at least the two Rookie Class teams shared the same leaderboard, while AZ Defiance and Eggplant used the 6-round meet for the first competition practice of the year. The opportunity could not have been any better, with three of the best and most experienced 4-way competitors in the world providing free coaching and meet guidance. It might have been the best opportunity of the year, as the next meets will most likely have higher participation.

AZ Defiance at the Valentine's Meet 2015
AZ Defiance came back with the same lineup that competed at the USPA Nationals 2017. Paul Marstall, Cris and Joe Howard then competed with Krystal McGuiness at the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship 2018 and did not attend another meet last year.

The team was actually founded by Cris and Joe Howard and Paul Marstall in 2015, and John Lyman was already on the Defiance camera by then. Brianne Thompson was player coaching the first lineup. AZ Defiance traveled to the national championships in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and missed only last year's event. The 5th place in the Advanced Class of 2016 with a 14.2 average was the career highlight, with Alex Swindle in the lineup.

Last weekend's first ASL meet was the earliest start of a 4-way season for AZ Defiance since 2015, and the 2017 lineup was back together.

Josh Hall's former Southern California Skydiving League assistant director Yvonne Owyeong competed with A Class team Eggplant. She needed a substitute when she could not complete all rounds, and team member Veronica Hayden's husband Julius was available to fill the slot. Veronica and Julius Hayden enjoyed the rounds together and will come back at the ASL February meet with a new lineup.

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