November 08, 2005

Flying Salukis finish second in regional contest

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Flying Salukis utilized a blend of experience and youth to finish second at last month's National Intercollegiate Flying Association Region VIII competition.

The Flying Salukis finished second in the chase for the regional title, finishing nine points behind Purdue University in the event at Indiana State University's Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field. But the finish enables the squad to continue another long-stranding tradition: advancing to national competition in May for a 37th consecutive year.

Seven teams participated in the four-day event, held Oct. 26-29. The University of Illinois finished third. SIUC finished second behind Purdue in the five ground events, and third behind Illinois and Purdue in the four flight events.

Coach Michael S. Frette and academic advisor Kim Carter were pleased with what they saw in the finish.

"We did well," Carter said. "Everyone did a really good job. We have quite a few new young members on the team this year and I am pleased with the effort."

Ground events were computer accuracy, aircraft preflight inspection, simulator, aircraft recognition and simulated comprehensive area navigation (SCAN). Flight events were short field landings, power off precision landings, navigation and message drop.

The 16-member squad has several new team members, and Frette was encouraged by those efforts.

"I think we are in good shape for the future," he said.

Frette was also pleased with the performances of departing seniors Timothy A. Cipolla and Jonathan D. Greene, who graduate in December.

Cipolla and Greene finished first in navigation and each placed in several other events.

Greene also finished first in computer accuracy, third in short field landing, seventh in SCAN and teamed with William J. Strauthers to finish third in message drop. Greene is the son of Karen Smetana and David Greene of New Lenox.

Cipolla also finished second in computer accuracy, third in aircraft recognition, and fifth in short field landing. He is the son of Christine and Donald Cipolla of Hurricane, W. VA.

"It was good to see them have a good competition. They really helped out and contributed and had a good final competition," Frette said.

Other Flying Salukis placing in the competition were:

• William J. Strauthers, a senior, who also finished sixth in aircraft recognition and eighth in aircraft preflight inspection. He is the son of Maureen and Mike Lilleeng of Fox Lake and Jack Strauthers of Hamilton, Ohio.

• William M. Gersch, a senior, placed second in SCAN, third in computer accuracy and sixth in simulator. He teamed with Garrett E. Hackett to finish third in navigation. Gersch is the son of Sandra and Bill Gersch of Algonquin.

• Garrett E. Hackett, a senior, also placed third in aircraft preflight. He is the son of Pam and Chris Hackett of Algonquin.

• Jennifer L. Byrne and Alex J. Kemps teamed together to finish sixth in message drop and eighth in navigation. Bryne, a sophomore, is the daughter of Darcy and Scott Byrne of Algonquin.

• Kemps, a senior, also was fifth in power off precision landings. He is the son of Jenny and John Kemps of Emmaus, Pa.

• Melissa E. Burk and Eric T. Miller teamed together to finish 10th in message drop. Burk, a sophomore, is the daughter of Gloria and Michael Burk of Champaign. Miller, a junior, is the son of Elyece and Scott Miller of St. Charles.

• Brandon E. Crowd, a sophomore, finished fifth in aircraft recognition. He is the son of Deidra Tig-Crowd and Sylvester Crowd of Long Beach, Calif.

• Trenton C. Kessler, a sophomore, finished 10th in computer accuracy. Kessler, a sophomore, is the son of Marla Alstadt of Somonauk and Chuck Kessler of Sandwich.

Other Flying Saluki team members are:

Casey H. Hoffman, a junior, the daughter of Judy and James Hoffman of Glen Ellyn; Maxwell S. Hougham, a sophomore, the son of Nancy and Randy Hougham of Sandwich; Andrew A. Ross, a freshman, the son of Christina and Richard Ross of Bartlett; Erik T. Skjerseth, a freshman, the son of Laurie and Nathan Skjerseth of Bettendorf, Iowa; and Sabrina J. Weber, a senior, the daughter of Debra and Rick Stokes of McHenry.

The national competition is May 8-13 at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

Shaping high-quality undergraduate programs is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the long-range plan the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.