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Did You Know...

... that new SDC Rhythm XP member Keith Conner managed the first meet of the Midwest Skydiving League?

MWSL Director Alan Butt (3rd from left) with his team Defcon4 in 2001
posted May 31st, 2022 - The Midwest Skydiving League launched the 2022 outdoor season with a change in management. The new SDC Rhythm XP generation will continue what JaNette and Steve Lefkowitz have been doing in the past decade since Alan Butt handed over the MWSL reigns to them in 2012, as the NSL News reported on August 17th the same year.

Rhythm were in their 6th season with original members JaNette and Steve Lefkowitz, and the new 2012 lineup were ready to challenge Arizona Airspeed for the 4-way top spot in the United States, after a 4th place at the USPA Nationals with the 2011 lineup.

Alan Butt on his side was ready and confident to hand over the Midwest Skydiving League to SDC Rhythm XP founders JaNette and Steve Lefkowitz:

"With their leadership I am sure that the MWSL will continue to provide fun opportunities for skydivers to learn and compete in the sport's most popular discipline. I also want to thank Kurt Gaebel for giving me this opportunity way back in November of 2001 and his continued support through the years. Likewise the DZ owners, staff, competitors and others that have made the MWSL what it is."

Spaceland Pre-Nationals 2022: Expanded, Extended and Open for all Teams

Midwest Skydiving League - May 2022
1 2 3 4 5 Total Avg
Rank AA Class F,8,E N,J,K,15 18,P,O 1,6 A,L,21 Total Avg
1 Joanna and the Creepers 9    9    6 -1 7    3 -1 34 6.8
2 Cheese Curds 7    3    7    6    -    23 5.8

Midwest Skydiving League May 2022: Joanne and the Creepers - Cheese Curds
MWSL Director Keith Conner (2nd from left) with Elsinore Elevate in 2019
The Midwest Skydiving League is one of the longest standing leagues in the NSL Network with consistency and continuity. Alan Butt was managing it for 10 years, JaNette and Steve Lefkowitz added the next decade with the numerous events and teams for the region.

Both have stepped back from active 4-way training and competition after their first FAI World Championship of Formation Skydiving, the FAI Tanay Mondial 2020 in August last year, where they won silver medals behind NMP PCH HayaBusa.

Doug Barron was the only member of the 2021 lineup who continued, and he recruited four new members (Keith Conner, Chris Webb, Carl Kallgren, Charlie McGee on camera). Keith Conner and Chris Webb now represent the third generation of MWSL management at the beginning of the third decade in the league history.

Keith Conner, who has moved from the U.S. west coast to the east coast to join the new Rhythm lineup, managed the first meet of the MWSL 2022 season at Chicagoland Skydiving.

Midwest Skydiving League - May 2022
1 2 3 4Total Avg
Rank Rookie F,D,H N,J,K P,O,M E,C,QTotal Avg
1 Keith's Ringers 5    4    11    -    20 6.7
2 SIS-SIF 1    0    0    1    2 0.5

Midwest Skydiving League May 2022: Keith's Ringers - SIS-SIF
SSL Director Brandy Verhalen (left) with Chris Webb in one of the SSL teams
Keith Conner was at least familiar with regional meets of the NSL Network. He attended a few events of the Southern California Skydiving League when he was still living on the west coast. In fact, he trained and competed with Elsinore Elevate in 2019 and 2020 and won AAA/Advanced Class silver medals at the USPA Nationals 2019, after attending two SCSL meets before.

The first meet of the MWSL 2022 season was busy for the new league director, as he was also player-coaching RRR Class team Keith's Ringers while running the meet and judging the competition rounds.

However, he had support and assistance from an experienced 4-way competitor who was even participating in two of the four teams. SDC Rhebellion XP member Greg Bush was in his tail slot for the Cheese Curds on the AA Class leaderboard, and he also helped Keith Conner to guide RRR Class team Keith's Ringers through their three rounds as inside center. Greg Bush's own team enjoys competition too, as the NSL News had just reported on May 13th.

The Cheese Curds, with Greg Bush in the lineup, had another member with plenty of league management and 4-way experiences. Brandy Verhalen launched the Southern Skydiving League in 2014 and managed it until 2017. She has participated in several indoor and outdoor events of the NSL Network after her SSL time, and she was back in outdoor action in the Midwest this time.

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