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Did You Know...

... that Arizona ACSS included former Airspeed member Todd Hawkins?

Todd Hawkins
posted Mar 9th, 2006 - The NSL News story on March 7 mentioned that Arizona Divewerkz had a tight competition with Arizona ACSS throughout the six rounds of the SSL Valentine's Meet 2006. Who is Arizona ACSS, the only team in the AAA/Open Class competition in Eloy without a team history?

The ACSS line-up consisted of Kristina Bako (Point), Shauna Dorsett (Inside Center), Todd Hawkins (Outside Center), Doug Nintzel (Tail) and Ben Bressler (Video). Todd Hawkins is a former Airspeed member who was seriously injured a few years ago, just when he had made it successfully into the Airspeed line-up.

Elsinore's 8-way team in 2000
image by: Omniskore
The injuries were so serious that his whole skydiving career was in jeopardy. However, Todd Hawkins patiently worked on his recovery and finally made it back into the Formation Skydiving community last year. He was born in Australia and competed for the Australian 8-way team at the World Meet in 1997. The Aussies took the 5th place that year with a 12.7 average.

Todd Hawkins then moved to the USA and trained and competed with Elsinore's 8-way team in 2000 and 2001. His team won the USPA bronze medal with a 12.6 average in 2000 and again with 10.8 in 2001. Next he was invited to join the Airspeed 8-way line-up when the Arizona team re-formed after the USPA Nationals 2002.

Todd Hawkins with Arizona Airspeed at the World Meet in France 2003
Airspeed's 8-way was already qualified for the World Meet in France 2003, and Todd Hawkins had the chance to enjoy the ultimate battle with the Russian 8-way team for the gold medals, including jump-off and tie-breaker. The USPA gold medals a few weeks later in Lake Wales were only a formality.

The accident then interrupted Todd Hawkins' competition career. The critical injuries first indicated that skydiving would not be possible for him any longer. However, and almost two years later, Todd Hawkins had his comeback when he filled a slot for Perris Storm at the USPA Nationals 2005.

Perris Storm at the USPA Nationals 2005
image by: Omniskore
The SSL Valentine's Meet 2006 was the first competition this year, and Todd Hawkins was already back in the air at a meet. His career story seems to be very similar to Dan BC's, which can still be viewed at the NSL Profiles. It might not be a big surprise if Todd Hawkins appeared again in the Airspeed line-up some day.

His team for the Valentine's Meet, Arizona ACSS, had a bad start and lost five points to Arizona Divewerkz in round one. ACSS recovered and won rounds two and three, then tied the remaining three rounds with the local rival for a 10.7 average, three points behind Divewerkz.

ACSS Point, Kristina Bako, used to train and compete with Perris Katalyst a few years ago. She also had two guest appearances in the Teiwaz line-up last year. Shauna Dorsett started skydiving in January 1996 and participated in the "Jump for the Cause" project last year.

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