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Did You Know...

... that the pickup teams consist of high-caliber 4-way competitors?

Sean Sweeney
posted Oct 25th, 2006 - The other 8-way teams are line-ups that were recruited on competition site, the "pickup teams". One of these pickup teams will most likely end up with a set of silver medals. However, it would be no new situation for the team members of Golden Nuggets to get up on the podium at USPA Nationals.

The team name already indicates that the members of the Golden Knights Black 4-way team are a world class foundation for this line-up. In addition, the Army team's alternate, Sean Sweeney, gets his opportunity to be a part of the competition in Eloy. He was a member of the 4-way line-up until this was changed earlier this year.

Rodney Cruce with Nemesis in 2002
Tom Falzone, Ron Hill and Rodney Cruce complete the line-up of the Golden Nuggets. Larry Miller films the team in 8-way, as well, and Billy Andrews is the alternate. Ron Hill and Rodney Cruce were team mates in 4-way team FiaZco, which placed 8th in the 4-way AAA/Open Class competition with a 17.6 average.

Rodney Cruce won 4-way gold medals with Nemesis in USPA's Advanced Class in 2002. Ron Hill is looking for his first set of USPA 4-way or 8-way medals. He might have found the best time for it. This line-up offers obviously high-quality 8-way competition jumps. Tom Falzone is also a very experienced and seasoned 4-way and 8-way competitor.

The Golden Nuggets are currently in second place and will not give up this position for the remainder of the 8-way competition.

Ron Hill with Frost in 2002
Another pickup team is still in a medal position after four rounds. This will probably change very soon since Paraclete XP recovers round by round from the Zero in round three. However, "Lock It Up" has offered Paraclete some resistance so far, and the pickup team will probably continue to be in a battle with Perris Octagon for the 4th place.

Lock It Up consists basically of three 4-way teams, Elsinore Gravity, Mass Defiance and Onyx. Robert May, Gary McDonald and Julie Richter represent 4-way Advanced Class team Onyx. Jim Rees, John Silva and Brian Stephens competed with Mass Defiance in the Open Class competition.

Elsinore Gravity and Mass Defiance
Steve Simar and Melanie Curtis complete this 8-way line-up and competed with Elsinore Gravity in the 4-way AAA/Open Class competition before. Mass Defiance member Ben Liston is the alternate, the team videographer of the New England Skydiving League team, Steve Feldman, films the 8-way team, as well.
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Former Colorado Skydiving League Director Samer Haija and Thunder member Scott Latinis are guiding the last 8-way team of the Open Class field through the competition. Scott Elmer, Diane Chamberlain, Lauren Stevens, Mary Lee-Sergott, Brian Smith and Paul Gatling complete the line-up. Kelly Green-Honigbaum films the team, Brett Thomas is the alternate.

The rankings of the Open Class competition are almost in expected order after round five. It will take Paraclete probably one more round to re-claim the bronze medal position that Lock It Up tries to defend. Perris Octagon will not be able to keep up with the highly skilled and experienced 4-way competitors in the Lock It Up line-up.

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