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Did You Know...

... that Christy Frikken is back in her SDC Rhythm XP slot of 2013 - 2015?

SDC Rhythm XP tryouts at Paraclete XP
posted May 19th, 2020 - The recent NSL News visit at Paraclete XP included several updates of the best U.S. teams in Formation Skydiving competition. The coverage from Raeford began with a NSL Live Talk interview on May 10th where Golden Knights team captain Andrew Starr explained that he will most likely not be able to continue with his inside center job for SDC Rhythm XP.

Next day, the NSL News covered the new XPG4 lineup, who will compete for the U.S. delegation at the indoor world meet in April next year. This NSL News day at Paraclete XP concluded with an Arizona Airspeed update. Airspeed XP8 then started a 2-week training camp on Monday last week, and the NSL News was able to catch parts of the first training day, as well.

Another event was actually taking place on Saturday, while XPG4 and Vega XP were training in Paraclete XP's 16-foot flying chamber. It was a new SDC Rhythm XP tryout session for the open slot that Andrew Starr would not be able to fill any longer after the cancellation and rescheduling of the FAI Mondial Tanay 2020, due to the corona virus crisis.

The NSL TV camera recorded parts of the tryouts while focusing mainly on the XPG4 and Airspeed training. Steve Lefkowitz, Andrew Happick and Doug Barron were flying with the invited candidates, and JaNette Lefkowitz was helping as much as possible with instructions about her inside center slot. However, none of the well skilled and highly talented candidates eventually got the slot. SDC Rhythm XP announced today that Christy Frikken returns to the team.


"We're excited to welcome Christy Frikken back to the Rhythm competition team! With the world meet being postponed a year, unfortunately Drew was unable to continue double training duties with us and the Golden Knights. We thank Drew and the US Army Golden Knights for his time and hard work. Fortunately, Christy was available and eager to join us. We're excited about what we know Christy can bring to the project, and eager to get on a big training plan starting next week."

SDC Rhythm XP tryouts in May 2020 and December 2011
SDC Rhythm XP lineups since 2007 and until 2021
SDC Rhythm XP with Chris Farina in 2012
Christy Frikken has a long history with SDC Rhythm XP. She tried out for the inside center slot when her own former team, Perris Fury, was finally done after the USPA Nationals 2011, while Rob Radez did not continue for SDC Rhythm XP at the end of the 2011 season.

Her Perris Fury team mate Chris Farina tried out for the same Rhythm slot in 2011, and the NSL News covered this event live from Paraclete XP. Chris Farina had the advantage of slot experiences as the inside center for Perris Fury, and Thiago Gomes, JaNette and Steve Lefkowitz selected him for the new lineup.

However, Chris Farina staid with Rhythm only for a year. He and Thiago Gomes left at the end of the 2012 season when Arizona Airspeed recruited a new lineup after winning the FAI World Meet 2012 in Dubai.

It was not difficult for SDC Rhythm XP to ask Christy Frikken to join little over a year after the tryout in December 2011, and they added Mikhail Markine to the new lineup at the same time. However, Arizona Airspeed maintained their U.S. top spot successfully for the next three Rhythm years with the same lineup.


USPA Nationals 2015
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank 4-way Open J,H,2,8 6,D,18 F,9,L,O 1,17,E K,19,N,P 3,7,5 4,A,B,12 11,16,M 15,Q,22 20,14,10 Total Avg
1 Arizona Airspeed 27 24 43 23 26 25 25 23 21 19 256 25.6
2 SDC Rhythm XP 22 21 42 25 27 20 23 20 20 16 236 23.6
3 Golden Knights 23 19 37 22 24 19 23 21 19 17 224 22.4
4 Carolina Turbo XP 22 20 34 22 25 20 19 21 18 16  217 21.7
5 HG XP 15 18 30 18 22 19 18 15 14 12 181 18.1
6 Prestige Worldwide 18 16 27 15 16 16 14 16 14 13 165 16.5
7 EOS 17 14 26 16 15 15 15 17 13 13 161 16.1
8 Dallas 350 16 16 23 15 17 17 15 16 14 11 160 16.0
9 Verve XP 15 13 27 14 17 16 16 16 13 12 159 15.9
10 Spaceland Lite 16 14 23 13 17 13 13 13 14 10 146 14.6
11 Camdak.is 14 11 21 12 12 13 12 8 10 8 121 12.1
SDC Rhythm XP - Arizona Airspeed - Carolina Turbo XP at the USPA Nationals 2015
SDC Rhythm XP with Christy Frikken in 2013 - 2015
The USPA Nationals 2015 turned out to be the last competition for Rhythm's 2013 - 2015 lineup. It was also a gathering of former and future SDC Rhythm XP and Arizona Airspeed members at the same time.

JaNette and Steve Lefkowitz continued with Andrew Happick and Doug Barron and needed four yours to finally accomplish their main goal. They won the USPA Nationals last year and will compete for the U.S. delegation at their first outdoor world championship in 4-way Open. New inside center Christy Frikken is now back in the Rhythm lineup, five years after the USPA Nationals 2015, and she will also attend her first world meet in 4-way Open.

Andrew Happick and Doug Barron competed for the last time with Carolina Turbo XP in 2015 and have been SDC Rhythm XP members ever since. Steve Lefkowitz was in the point slot when Christy Frikken was the inside center between 2013 and 2015. He switched to outside center when Andrew Happick and Doug Barron joined the team in 2016. JaNette Lefkowitz has been driving the Rhythm engine in the last four years. No slot scrambles will be necessary with the latest personnel change, and Christy Frikken will replace JaNette Lefkowitz in the same slot until the end of the 2021 season.

Only one former SDC Rhythm XP member of Airspeed's 2015 lineup, Mikhail Markine, is still training and competing with the U.S. national indoor team in 4-way Open. Chris Farina and Thiago Gomes are not active in 4-way competition any longer. The two new Airspeed members, Christopher Kuhlmann and Joey Marshall, competed in the AA/Intermediate Class competition of 2015, while their current team mates, Niklas Hemlin and Mikhail Markine, were opponents on the top of the 4-way Open Class leaderboard...

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