By Cheryle RivasJuly 30, 2008
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Sgt. 1st Class Elisa Tennyson, a member of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights' competition team battled to hold on to second place during the Women's Style discipline at the 30th FAI World Style and Accuracy Parachuting Championships in Slovakia.
FAI stands for the FAfAdAfAration AAfAronautique Internationale, the World Air Sports Federation, known as the world governing body for air sports and aeronautical world records.
Tennyson held off the Russian team and claimed her second place standing to win silver in Women's Style. During the semifinal round, Tennyson jumped ahead of the highest placing Russian, placing her in second behind last year's champion from Slovenia.
Going into the final round of competition, Tennyson was less than half a second out of first place, but had two Russian competitors within point twenty-three and point forty-four seconds. Both Russians had great jumps in the finals, putting added pressure on Tennyson, who delivered a solid jump to take Silver.
Tennyson is one of four women from the U.S. Army Parachute Team's Style and Accuracy team competing alongside two civilians to represent the United States in World Competition. Team member Sgt. 1st Class Karen Morrison placed 10th in the Style discipline, Sergeant 1st Class Angela Nichols placed 12th and former team member and civilian Cheryl Sterns placed 6th.
The women's team's placement in style could be the best finish at this point in competition for the history of the team. The top four style places for the team are used in calculating the overall team in competition. Currently, the U.S. team is second in style as a team behind the Russians, who put all five of their team members in the top 10.
With the style competition wrapped up, the team will continue to compete in accuracy through this week. Style is a speed event where each competitor jumps from 7,500 feet and must complete a series of six turns and loops in a race against the clock and a compass; points are given for best time.
Accuracy is where the parachutist lands and places their heel on a 16 centimeter pad with a 2-centimeter electronic target from an altitude of 2,800 - 4,000 feet. The object in accuracy is to finish with the lowest score.