You have to understand how tension builds in the room as the awards are announced. Coaches scribble madly on their scorecards, quickly adding up the points to compare the teams. Knowing that only two teams will make it to the National Championships this year – instead of the traditional 3 – seemed to “pressurize” the moment. The ground events are announced first. SDCC’s name is not called very often and we watch as Embry Riddle, San Jose State, and Mt. San Antonio rack up the points. Only the top 10 competitors in each event get points – which when added up, determine rankings of each team.
Our best showing is Dylan Jones – 6th in SCAN, followed by Mike Visnovsky 7th in ACID. Jenna Sims scores in E6b Computer Accuracy (10th) and Sean, Dylan and Blandy earn points in the Simulator.
Coach Titus shakes his head – but says, just wait, I think we did well in flight events. He is correct. Flight Events are double the points for ground events. Tension builds. Dylan scores an all-time high with 2nd place in power-off landings. Two of our pilots score in the top 10. Jenna gets 5th in Short field landings, followed by Kayla, Dylan and Sean who all score in the top 10.
Things are looking up. Coach Steve Geary smiles as the Master of Ceremonies, Captain Frank Maine – announces the Message Drop Winners: Sims & Brandt (7th), Harder & Visnovsky (6th), Judge & Harder (5th) – and finally, Jones and Conlan – First Place! SDCC pretty much sweeps message drop and Dylan (who also flew for the Cypress pilot) take the trophy for first place.
Navigation – one of our stronger events – all 3 teams score. Conlan & Jones (8th), Sims & Brandt (5th), and Judge & Harder (4th).
Ground Simulator event – all 3 of our competitors score points. We are perennially weak in pre-flight, but this time Kayla and Jenna both score. Michael Elm takes second place in the IFR event.
So it is with great honor that we announce the placement of SDCC Hawks Flight Team in the Regional Competition.....drum roll please!......2nd Place!!!
As a special recognition to team spirit, team cooperation, helpfulness and sportsmanship, SDCC was awarded the Red Baron Team Sportsmanship Award. While this is not the first time SDCC has won this award, it is particularly special because of our desire to stand out as Christian pilots – many whose desire is to become missionary pilots. We were truly blessed by this award representing other schools’ recognition of our Christian testimony.
For the first time in its history, SDCC Hawks Flight Team took 2nd place and earned a bid to Nationals for the 5th consecutive year! We could not be more proud of our pilots and the many financial supporters that made this dream a reality! To the team members we could not afford to take with us – thank you too, for without your support we could not enjoy the success we earned together. Thank you!