The United States Parachute Association’s National Collegiate Parachuting Championship took place from December 27th, 2017 to January 2nd, 2018 at the Florida Skydiving Center in Lakes Wales, Florida.
The collegiate championship has taken place since 1958, hosted with the intention of promoting safety, competition, sportsmanship, and camaraderie among college skydivers, and opens the door for college students to compete. According to the USPA, many of today’s leaders in the sport started off as college skydivers.
Like all of USPA’s championship events, the format varies from year to year. Sometimes all segments are hosted at a singular location and other times there are up to three different championships held separately. The results of many of these championships help to determine the U.S. Teams for international championships.
Each championship may include any of the following segments: Canopy Formation, Canopy Piloting, Formation Skydiving, Freefall Style, Accuracy Landing, Mixed Formation Skydiving, Freeflying, Wingsuit Performance Flying, Wingsuit Acrobatic Flying, Freestyle Artistic Events, and Vertical Formation Skydiving. This year’s competition was comprised of 4-way open formation skydiving, 4-way advanced formation skydiving, 2-way formation skydiving, 2-way vertical formation skydiving, 6-way speed formation skydiving and sport accuracy for teams, and classic accuracy and sports accuracy (masters, intermediate and novice) for individuals.
It was the longest-running collegiate event since its inception, and despite some minor inclement weather, jumpers all completed the minimum number of required rounds, at least, in all events. 82 jumpers from across the U.S. competed, including representatives of the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Naval Academy. Universities represented include UConn, Fort Lewis College, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Kansas State University, Northeastern University, University of Georgia and UMass Amherst.
Air Force Storm took the gold medal for 4-way open formation skydiving, followed by Air Force Blaze and Air Force Skyfall for second and third place, respectively. Army West Point 14-13 took gold in 4-way advanced formation skydiving, followed by Army West Point C- and CT True Blue. West Point Schnack Pack took gold in 2-way formation skydiving, who almost tied with Army West Point No Rudder and followed by Army West Point Meat Missles for third place. Air Force Siete Lobo took gold in 2-way vertical formation skydiving, followed by Air Force Spare Change and Army West Point Diamond Dogs. Army West Point Scheme Team 6 took gold in 6-way speed formation skydiving, followed by Air Force Bad Maddys and Air Force Chan’s 21st. Scheme Team also set the new nation record for the 6-way event with 9.16 seconds. Air Force Sietray-Nobo took the gold for team sport accuracy, followed by Air Force Storm and Army West Point Smash is a GO.
Kristopher Hayhurst took the gold for classic accuracy, followed by Douglas Hendrix for silver and Keaton Crowder for bronze. Connor Severino, Zachary Wolftook and Noah Taylor tied for the gold for masters sport accuracy. John Allen took the gold for intermediate sport accuracy, followed by Jacob Volin and William Derrick. Finally, Andrew Winski took the gold for novice sport accuracy, followed by Elliot Klein and Dion Perinon.
Next year’s date and location have yet to be announced.