WMU News

Sky Broncos capture regional title

Oct. 21, 1997

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University's precision flying team, the Sky Broncos, captured first place in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association's regional competition Oct. 14-18 at Bowling Green State University.

Competing against six other college teams, the Sky Broncos took the NIFA Region III title for the fifth consecutive year, placing first in both flight and ground events and taking top pilot honors. Ohio State University came in second, repeating its 1995 and 1996 placing. Ohio University finished in third place.

All three teams will advance to the 1998 NIFA national competition, which will take place April 28-May 2 at Kansas State University at Salina.

"This is the best overall team I've ever coached," says coach Mark A. Serbenski of this year's 15-member Sky Broncos team. "Crosswind conditions were at the maximum allowed for competition and our pilots absolutely controlled their planes during the flight events."

The Sky Broncos won two of the four flying events and four of the five ground events that make up the competition. Jennifer M. Richard, a WMU senior from Caledonia, earned top pilot honors, capturing first place in three ground events and placing second, fourth and sixth in flight events.

Serbenski noted that five of the top nine places in the top pilot competition were earned by Sky Broncos. The team also won the top five places in aircraft recognition, a ground event, and the top three spots in the flight navigation event.

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