The US Air Force Academy Wings of Blue parachute
competition team won gold medals in each skydiving event and
received 31 out of 44 total medals at the National Collegiate
Parachute Championship in Eloy, Ariz., recently.
The team competed in three events: style, accuracy and four-way.
The style event is a race against the clock in which divers have to
complete six maneuvers in the fastest time. Accuracy jumpers exit
an aircraft from 4,500 feet and strive to land on a target the size
of a quarter. In four-way, four jumpers complete as many
pre-determined maneuvers as possible within 35 seconds.
Academy jumpers swept the style event at the "masters"
experience level. Rob Ice received the gold while Jared Aranda took
silver and Alex Datzman brought home the bronze. In the masters
accuracy event, Ice captured gold again while Kristen Wozniak tied
for the silver. The Wings of Blue hit it big in the four-way
competition with its Blut Team winning gold and Silver Team taking
The four-way Blue Team, consisting of Ice, Aranda, Dan Darnell
and Pat Kennedy, broke a collegiate record by turning 21 maneuvers
in 35 seconds, which bested the former record of 16 maneuvers in 35
"We had high goals, and we met our expectations," said Tech.
Sgt. Pat Atkin, parachute instructor for the 98th Flying Training
Squadron. "The cadets truly showed their talent and
Ice took home a special gold medal for winning
overall collegiate champion.
"This was my third year competing, and it's been a great time,"
While the competition team was winning big, the Wings of Blue
demonstration team scattered across the country this holiday season
to demonstrate their skills for more than 430,000 people with jumps
into three stadiums hosting college bowl games. [ANN Thanks 2nd Lt.
Melissa Waheibi, US Air Force Academy]