WMU News

Sky Broncos sweep regional competition

Oct. 20, 2002

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's Sky Broncos precision flight team swept the National Intercollegiate Flying Association's Region III competitions Oct. 16-19 in Columbus, Ohio, earning the opportunity to defend the team's national title.

The Sky Broncos placed first by a wide point margin in both ground and flight events and also took top team honors with the Safety Award. Overall, WMU amassed 250 points for first place. Ohio State, which served as host for the regional competition, was second with 142 total points, and Ohio University was third with 109. All three teams will advance to the 2003 NIFA national competition at the University of North Dakota in May.

"Overall the team performed exceptionally well," said head coach Tom Grossman, chief flying instructor for the WMU College of Aviation, "especially considering that nine of our 15 team members were competing for the first time and had only six weeks to prepare."

Marc Kobaissi, a junior from Barrington, Ill., took top individual honors among the Broncos. He finished second overall for the Top Pilot Award, which went to Scott Nolish of Ohio State. Nolish outscored Kobaissi by just six points, 53 to 47. The third-place pilot had 28 points.

Leading the 2002-03 Sky Broncos are co-captains Kobaissi and Darin Dumas, a senior from Dearborn Heights, Mich.

Other teams in this year's Region III competition were Andrews University, the University of Cincinnati and Kent State University.

WMU has finished among the top three teams in the nation for 11 straight years. The Sky Broncos won national collegiate flying championships in 1983, 1998 and 2002. The University of North Dakota, which will have home field advantage at the 2003 national competition, won the collegiate flying championship in 2000 and 2001.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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