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Competition Team

The competition team represents the Wings of Blue at numerous competitions across the country each year. The two primary competitions are the USPA National Collegiate Parachuting Championships held each winter and the U.S. National Skydiving Championships in the fall. Both the Junior and Senior competition teams are composed of approximately 12 members: 2 four-way teams, 2 videographers, and freefly team. All members compete in canopy accuracy as well. In the aerial events, teams are given 35 to 45 seconds to complete pre-planned formation maneuvers after exiting the plane. Jumpers exit with a videographer who records the jump for judging.

Four-Way

The four-way teams consist of four flyers and a videographer. Their goal is to complete the preplanned series of formations in a certain sequence as many times as possible in 35 seconds. The team positions consists of a point, an inside center, an outside center, and a tail.

Freefly

The freefly teams consist of two flyers and a videographer. There are two disciplines in which the teams compete in, artistic freefly and 2-way VFS. In artistic freefly the team performs a planned and practiced routine within 45 seconds of working time consisting of head-down, stand-up, or a sit position as well as the movements in between. In VFS the teams complete the preplanned series of formations in a designated sequence in a head down or upright, vertical axis.

Check out our YouTube page for footage of the competitions!

Check out our photo albums for pictures of past competitions!

 Meet The Team:

Luke Brown

  • Graduation Year: 2017
  • Home State: Colorado
  • Academic Major: Political Science
  • USAFA Squadron: 19 “Wolverines”
  • Team Position: 4-Way
  • Outside Jumping: Hiking, skiing, basketball, running

Luke has lived in Colorado for the past 10 years. While he did not realize his desire to attend the Academy until his Senior year in high school, he has loved attending the U.S. Air Force Academy. The highlight of his time at the Academy has been the time he has spent on the Wings of Green. He is excited for the coming 2 years to grow as a jumpmaster, flyer, and overall best possible teammate to his new family at the 98th.

Chris Risma

  • Graduation Year: 2017
  • Home State: Colorado
  • Academic Major: Mechanical Engineering

Chris was born in California, but moved to Colorado when he was 6th months old and has lived there ever since. He graduated from a small high school where he played baseball and soccer. He is extremely thankful for all the opportunities USAFA has given him, especially one of the best experiences yet – flight in its purest form. He hopes to be a pilot after graduation, but for now is excited to fly with his four-way and teach future jumpers.

Ethan Porter

  • Graduation Year: 2017
  • Home State: North Carolina
  • Academic Major: Mechanical Engineering
  • USAFA Squadron: 31 “Grim Reapers”
  • Team Position: Competition Team: 4-Way
  • Outside Jumping: Swimming, Tennis, Skiing, watching Kevin freestyle, and Outdoor Activities

Ethan is from North Carolina where he graduated high school and spent most of his time with the swim and tennis teams. He learned about the Air Force Academy his sophomore year of high school and gained a strong desire to attend. Ethan is extremely grateful of the amazing opportunities the Academy and the 98th FTS have given him. Upon graduation he hopes to either attend pilot training or become a civil engineer for the Air Force.

Connor Livingston

  • Graduation Year: 2017
  • Home State: Missouri
  • Academic Major: Aeronautical Engineering
  • USAFA Squadron: 31 “Fear the Reaper”
  • Team Position: Competition Team: 4-Way
  • Outside Jumping: Rock, Ice Climbing and Surfing

Connor Livingston was born in a rural area of Missouri. After graduating from high school, he attended one year of college at Carnegie Mellon University on an AFROTC scholarship where he studied Mechanical and Robotics Engineering. He then transferred to USAFA ,and after an exciting Doolie year, decided to try out for Wings of Green/Blue. He aspires to win Gold at Nationals with his VFS partner Brandon Bylina and then upon graduation cross-commission into the US Army.

Maria Volodkevich

  • Graduation Year: 2017
  • Home State: Washington
  • Academic Major: Management (French Minor)
  • USAFA Squadron: 23 “Barnstormers”
  • Team Position: Competition Team: 4-Way
  • Outside Jumping: Swimming, running, biking, reading

Maria grew up in Washington State for 15 years where she spent most of her time competitive swimming. She became interested in the military ever since hearing about her grandfather’s adventures as a Frogman in World War II. Becoming part of the Wings of Green is so far one of her best experiences at the Academy. She aspires to become either an Acquisitions or Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Air Force.

Conner Thomsen

  • Graduation Year: 2017
  • Home State: California
  • Academic Major: Political Science & Foreign Area Studies (Russian Minor)
  • USAFA Squadron: 33 “King Ratz”
  • Team Position: Competition Team: 4-Way
  • Outside Jumping: Surfing, snowboarding, paintballing, and movie watching

Conner was born and raised in California, and loves the warm beaches of his hometown. He dreamed of attending the Academy since middle school, after seeing his brother commission from there as a second lieutenant. USAFA has offered opportunities that he never could have imagined, the best of which include being a part of the 98th FTS. Conner aims to become an intelligence officer upon graduation.

Kevin Kim

  • Graduation Year: 2017
  • Home State: Colorado
  • Academic Major: Systems Engineering: Human Factors
  • USAFA Squadron: 28 “Badass Blackbirds”
  • Team Position: Competition Team: 4-Way
  • Outside Jumping: Freestyle Friday, moving my body to music, and 2014 Forest Hill Drive

Kevin was born and raised in the streets of Seoul. After his Dad changed jobs, he moved on over to the states where everything was new. It was tough adjusting to a new culture but his ability to adapt helped him as a Doolie later at the United States Air Force Academy. Making Wings of Green is the best thing that has happened to him and he would not trade the relationships he created for anything in the world.

Brandon Bylina

  • Graduation Year: 2017
  • Home State: California
  • Academic Major: Management
  • USAFA Squadron: 4 “Fightin’ Fourth”
  • Team Position: 2-Way VFS
  • Outside Jumping: Weightlifting, gymnastics, reading, not running

After graduating high school in 2008, Brandon Bylina spent two productive years at the University of Miami before joining the US Air Force Enlisted Corps as an A1C Medical Logistician. Shortly after arriving at his first duty station, he applied to and was consequently offered an appointment at the Air Force Academy. He is currently floundering in freefly training with his partner Connor Livingston but will one day share the podium and a gold medal with him. Brandon Bylina aspires to one day fly fighter aircraft for the world’s premier Air Force.

Jared Wesemann

  • Graduation Year: 2017
  • Home State: Utah
  • Academic Major: Physics (Chinese Minor)
  • USAFA Squadron: 37 “Animalistic Skyraiders”
  • Team Position: Competition 2-Way VFS – AF Twin Engine
  • Outside Jumping: Trail running, hiking, ultimate frisbee, astronomy

Jared calls no place home, having grown up all across our beautiful country. Inspired by his father and brother Jordan, he decided to come to the Air Force Academy. He took AM-490 after Doolie year, and dreamed of making the Team for two years overseas in Taiwan. Upon return, he was selected for the team and cherishes this opportunity to give others the experience of a lifetime. He is proud to compete with his twin brother, Jordan, and fly with the rest of his second family. Upon graduation, Jared hopes to attend jet pilot training.

Megan Shenk

  • Graduation Year: 2017
  • Home State: Pennsylvania
  • Academic Major: Biology
  • USAFA Squadron: 13 “Fightin’ Bulldawgs”
  • Team Position: Competition Team: 4-Way
  • Outside Jumping: Going to Concerts, Soccer, Running, Hiking, and Snowboarding

Megan was born in Mississippi. She grew up in Arizona and in Germany and now lives in Pennsylvania. Megan came to USAFA as a recruited athlete for the women’s soccer team and played her freshman year. After taking AM-490, she decided to try out for the Wings of Green. She is incredibly thankful for the opportunities that USAFA has given her and would not want to be a part of any other squadron than the 98th. After graduation, Megan hopes to become a flight surgeon, first by attending pilot training and then medical school after.

Jordan Wesemann

  • Graduation Year: 2017
  • Home State: Utah
  • Academic Major: Foreign Area Studies; Chinese Minor
  • USAFA Squadron: 11 “Rebeleven”
  • Team Position: Competition 2-Way VFS – AF Twin Engine
  • Outside Jumping: Traveling, foreign languages and cultures, playing guitar, reading, juggling

Growing up on Air Force bases around the country, Jordan has always dreamed of following in his father’s footsteps by attending the Air Force Academy. AM-490, the basic freefall course taught by members of the Wings of Blue, was the last program he completed before out-processing for two years to serve a religious mission to Taiwan. Having been readmitted to the Academy and completing a year-long upgrade program, Jordan is honored to now give back to a program that changed his life. Jordan also competes at the national level with his freefly teammate and twin brother, Jared.

 

Nathan Brooks

  • Graduation Year: 2018
  • Home State: Arizona
  • Academic Major: Economics with Spanish Minor
  • USAFA Cadet Squadron: 20 “Tough Twenty Trolls”
  • Team Position: Four-way (Point)
  • Outside Jumping: Working out, racquetball, sports narration, juggling, facilitating the recovery of torn ligaments

Nate Brooks was born to a military family in Little Rock, Arkansas and has been on the move since his birth.  After departing the land of the Ozarks, the family travels (and dad’s military assignments) took him to Anchorage, AK and Colorado Springs before finally stopping for good in Tucson, AZ, where he now considers home.  In high school, Nate played football and baseball, ran track, became an Eagle Scout, and set his sights on attending the US Air Force Academy.  During the summer of his “doolie” year, he was introduced to parachuting through the academy’s Airmanship 490 course and from that moment, the commonly-considered irrational idea of “jumping out of a perfectly good airplane” became an insatiable passion.  Having been called to serve a mission for his church, Nate left the Academy for two years and traded in the blue skies of Colorado for the wind of the Argentine Patagonia; nothing, however, could extinguish the fire that had been lit since first going through the “Jump” program.  Upon his return, Nate tried out to be selected for the upgrade parachuting program, the Wings of Green, and the rest is history.  Nate has loved his upgrade year for multiple reasons; he has made friends of unlikely ages and in unlikely places, has grown to appreciate the ground duties that carry the squadron, and of course, he has loved the freefall.  

 

Molly Ferguson:

  • Graduation Year: 2018
  • Home State: Maryland
  • Academic Major: Systems Engineering; German Minor
  • USAFA Squadron: 19 “Wolverines”
  • Team Position: 4-Way (Inside Center)
  • Outside Jumping: Dancing, working out, sleeping, arts and crafts

Molly was born in New Jersey and it was that her life of traveling began. From Germany to Wisconsin, Molly has moved with her family, following her dad, an Army helicopter pilot. Molly’s younger sister and family motivates her everyday to do well in preparing to be an officer in the Air Force one day. Molly hopes to pursue an Air Force career either as a (hopefully helicopter) pilot or a Developmental Engineer. Molly is extremely grateful to be on the Wing of Blue because she has always wanted to be a teacher, and now she can teaching skydiving to cadets in AM-490! Dreams do come true!

 

Thomas Hurst

  • Graduation Year: 2018
  • Home State: Michigan
  • Academic Major: Systems Engineering
  • USAFA Squadron: 30 “Knights of Thirty”
  • Team Position: Competition: 4-Way
  • Outside Jumping: Water Sports on the Lake, Golf, Snow Skiing

Thomas was born in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois and raised in rural Michigan where he would graduate from both Schoolcraft High School and the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center.  Upon graduating high school, Thomas decided to attend the Air Force Academy in the footsteps of his older sister, Chloe Hurst.  Immediately after experiencing Airmanship 490, it was his greatest desire to apply to the Wings of Green.  Now, Thomas is an Airmanship 490 instructor and Competition 4-Way member for the Wings of Blue!  Thomas attributes his successes to the never-ending support of his family and friends.

 

Madeleine Wawrzyniak:

  • Graduation Year: 2018
  • Home State: Pennsylvania
  • Academic Major: Biology
  • USAFA Squadron: 21 “Blackjacks”
  • Team Position: 4-Way (Outside Center)
  • Outside Jumping: Swimming, running, reading, going on adventures, spending time with friends and family!

Maddy grew up in Southern California and Pennsylvania in a household run by a proud US Marine. She never ever wanted to be in the military, until she learned about the Air Force Academy and decided she wanted to be in the world’s greatest Air Force! Upon arriving at the Academy, she walked on to the swim team where she swam for a year, before joining Wings of Green. Making the team has been one of the most pivotal experiences in her life, making her realize the true value of friendship, teamwork, and leadership—she wouldn’t trade her time on the team for the world!

 

Chandler Beachy

  • Graduation Year: 2018
  • Home State: Texas
  • Academic Major:  Management, Spanish Minor
  • USAFA Squadron: 20 “Trolls”
  • Team Position: Competition: 4-Way
  • Outside Jumping: Spending time with family/friends, playing tennis, traveling

Chandler was born in Houston, Texas where she lived for three years and considers home. Her family moved overseas to Saudi Arabia where she was raised. She attended boarding school in  Jacksonville, Florida before coming to the Air Force Academy and joining the Wings of Blue. Chandler joined the team to teach Airmanship 490 – the best program at USAFA! She hopes to attend pilot training after commissioning.

 

Joseph Wilde

  • Graduation Year: 2018
  • Home State: Minnesota (St. Paul)
  • Academic Major:  Systems Engineering (Human Factors)
  • USAFA Squadron: Dirty Dozen
  • Team Position: Competition: 4-Way
  • Outside Jumping: Exercise, Reading, Spending time with family and teammates

Joe is from St. Paul, MN and is the oldest of three boys in his family. Before attending USAFA he spent one year at Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, MO as part of the Falcon Foundation program. Joe competes in four-way competition formation skydiving. After commissioning Joe plans on attending graduate school and being an engineer in the US Air Force.

 

David Arneberg

  1. Graduation Year: 2018
  2. Home State: Wisconsin
  3. Academic Major:  Systems Engineering
  4. USAFA Squadron: CS-05 “Wolfpack”
  5. Team Position: Competition: 4-Way (Tail)
  6. Outside Jumping: Hiking, Camping, Juggling, Playing Tennis,  Spending time with Family, Finding Adventures.

David was born and raised in the bustling town of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Growing up, David loved doing all sorts of outdoor activities with his sister and three brothers like backpacking, biking, juggling, canoeing, playing tennis, or playing backyard football. After watching his two older brothers have an awesome experience at the Air Force Academy in the Class of 2012 and 2016, David decided to follow in their footsteps, and he loves the Academy! He joined the fencing team his freshman year at USAFA, but after taking Airmanship 490, he knew he wanted to try out for the Wings of Green. David continues to be amazed by all of the opportunities God has given him at the Air Force Academy and on the Wings of Blue. After graduation, he hopes to attend pilot training.  

 

Ryan Silva

  • Graduation Year:  2018
  • Home State: California
  • Academic Major: Operations Research, Chinese Minor
  • USAFA Squadron: Shadow Seven
  • Team Position: Competition: 4- Way
  • Outside Jumping: Skiing, Backpacking, traveling

Hailing from Auburn, California, Ryan grew up skiing and backpacking the Sierra Nevadas. His love of adventure coupled with a desire to serve a greater purpose lead him to the Air Force Academy. Being a member of the Wings of Blue has been the best experience of Ryan’s life—from making lifelong friends to teaching students how to “stand in the door”. Ryan owes his successes to his family and friends. After commissioning Ryan hopes to attend graduate school and then pilot training.

 

Zachary Wolf

  • Graduation Year: 2018
  • Home State: Florida
  • Academic Major: Biology
  • USAFA Squadron: 19 “Wolverines”
  • Team Position: Competition: Free Fly
  • Outside Jumping: Spending time with family/friends, long walks on the beach, traveling, fishing, hiking.

Zachary was raised in Tampa, Florida. He attended Hillsborough High School and played swim, soccer, and lacrosse before coming to the Air Force Academy. Zachary was a part of the Ultimate Frisbee Team his freshman year before becoming a member of the Wings of Green. Upon graduation, Zachary wishes to attend pilot training and go to Medical School.

 

Noah Taylor

  • Graduation Year: 2018
  • Home State: Arizona
  • Academic Major:  Systems Engineering, Arabic Minor
  • USAFA Squadron: 36 “Pink Panthers”
  • Team Position: Competition: 4-Way Camera
  • Outside Jumping: Spending time outdoors, eating Mitch’s with friends, thrifting

Noah grew up in Phoenix, Arizona which he happily calls home.  He enjoys getting to return to his home state with the team on their training trips throughout the year and getting to spend time with his family.  After taking AM-490 Noah could not pass up the opportunity to join the esteemed team that made Jump such an impactful experience for him.  Upon graduation Noah hopes to attend pilot training and pursue a career as a pilot in the United States Air Force.

 

Nicholas Vaccarella

    • Graduation Year: 2018
    • Home State: New Jersey
    • Academic Major:  Physics, Arabic Minor
    • USAFA Squadron: 8 “Eagle Eight”
    • Team Position: Competition: 4-Way Camera
    • Outside Jumping: Practicing martial arts, Spending time with family/friends, Reading mystery novels
    • Desired AF job: Intelligence Officer/Special Investigations

Nick was raised in Hammonton, NJ, where he spent his summers working on his family’s blueberry farm and relaxing at the beach. His high-school extracurricular involvements included Civil Air Patrol, running, martial arts, and learning the piano. He participated in Air Force ROTC for two years at Cedarville University prior to his admission into the Academy. Nick believes everyone should know “first-hand” that hard work pays off, and that the most rewarding thing in life is sharing your passions with others. He’s extremely thankful to be on the Wings of Blue and to instruct the USAFA Jump Program – Airmanship 490!