Seven members of a Middletown-based professional skydiving team recently qualified for the 2022 World Parachuting Championships after competing in the U.S. Parachute Association Nationals.
Team Fastrax, based at Middletown Regional Airport, will be well represented at the 2022 World Parachuting Championships Oct. 20-26 in Eloy, Ariz.
Those members of Team Fastrax who qualified include Middletown Mayor Nicole Condrey, Yuliya Pangburn, Brian Pangburn, John Hart, Jeannie Bartholomew, Curt Bartholomew and Katie Hansen-Lajeunesse. All have been named to the U.S. Parachuting Team.
Condrey, 39, who started skydiving eight years ago after her husband, Ron, died, said traditionally most of the skydivers who compete at the nationals are based in warmer climates because the weather allows them to train year-round.
She said Team Fastrax, the only professional skydiving team in Ohio, trains extensively in Arizona and Florida during the winter.
“When we tell them we’re from Middletown, they ask, ‘Where’s that?’” Condrey said. “We put Middletown on the map and that makes me very happy.”
Condrey and her skydiving partner, Yuliya Pangburn, who lives in Arizona and trains with Team Fastrax, won the Gold Medal in two-way Sequential Open. Yuliya’s husband, Brian, was the videographer and Hart was the alternate on the team.
In that competition, the skydivers purposely run into each other’s canopies to take docks and they’re judged by how many points they score in 60 seconds. The jumps are videoed, then judged.
They make eight, 60-second jumps.
“That’s a lot of training for eight minutes,” Condrey said. “To say there’s pressure, that’s very much an understatement.”
Gold medalist Curt Bartholomew and his wife, Jeannie, qualified in Canopy Piloting and Hansen-Lajeunesse won gold in Free Flying, a category that has grown in popularity due to the increase in wind tunnel businesses, Condrey said.
The World Championships are held every two years. The 2020 Worlds, held in Siberia, were delayed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Condrey said she’s “thankful” the Worlds are returning to the U.S.