College teams are dancing in the sky in Lake Wales for the parachuting national championship

80 are jumping in the event

LAKE WALES, Fla. - College teams from around the country are jumping out of planes and putting on a show in Lake Wales.

More than 80 competitors trained for months to make it to the USPA Collegiate Parachuting Championships.

For the next few days, teams will be dancing in the sky in the equivalent to the Super Bowl for parachuting at the college level.

"The collegiate championships is the prestige event, by far," said James Hayhurst, Director of Competition for the USPA. "They'll go out of the aircraft and make their formations. They have a set working time of 30 to 40 seconds and in that period of time they try to make as many formations as they can."

Think of it as aerial ballet or square dancing several thousand feet off the ground.

In the individual event, jumpers land on a dime, literally. One of the targets is the size of a coin.

"It's tough to hit even for the world class competitors," Hayhurst said.

The jumpers make it look easy, but the moves are rehearsed over and over again.

"We jump everyday after school and we come here and this is really where all the practice and teamwork comes together," said Chris Smith, a West Point cadet.

Earlier this year, Smith earned the privilege of jumping into an Army football game, and even delivered the game ball.

"Just an honor to jump in front of all the fans and the cadets there," he said.

One main key to skydiving is patience.

On the third day of competition in Lake Wales, teams are once again waiting for the weather to clear up. They were only able to get a few plane loads of jumpers up in the air the first two days.

College kids passed time playing cards, foosball, hacky sack, and even caught up on their sleep.

Organizers hope to wrap up the competition and name a champion in each category by January 2.

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