December 28, 2021—College skydivers from across the country gathered today at Skydive Elsinore to begin the 2021 National Collegiate Skydiving Championships. They will compete over the next five days in 2-way and 4-way FS, 6-way Speed, 2-way VFS and Sport Accuracy. Competitors largely hail from military schools—the United States Military Academy, Air Force Academy and Naval Academy all showed up in force—but many non-military college students made the trip as well. Skydivers showed to represent Columbia University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Iowa State University, Three Rivers Community College, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of California, Berkeley, University of Connecticut, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Western Michigan University.
At 85 total athletes competing, this is one of the largest Collegiates of the past decade. “There are noticeably more non-military competitors this year,” said Madigan Carroll of UIUC, who is attending his second championships. Randy Connell (Meet Director), Judy Celaya (Chief Judge) and Steve Hubbard (USPA Controller) will preside over the meet. “We have seven judges with over 100 years of judging experience,” said Connell during tonight's briefing. “So you know you're getting the best of the best.”
After a rough start to the event's weather, the competitors will spend tomorrow hoping for bluer skies. “You'd think California would have some decent weather, but I guess we'll see,” said Isaac Schultz of UC, Berkeley after the two Otters and two Caravans stayed grounded today. The order of events moving forward will be dictated by what weather allows.
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Meet Director Randy Connell addresses competitors during tonight's briefing.
Gray skies loom above the Otters at Skydive Elsinore.