Sunday, June 28, 2009

And the winner is...

Jessica and I got all dressed up for the banquet. We were nervous about the results. We joked about needing to look good for all the pictures of us holding the Collegiate Trophy and the First Place Prize. We were confident that we had raced as smart as we could, and we had no regrets. No matter where we placed, we were happy with our performance.

The Dean of the College of Technology, Tad Foster (our sponsor), had arrived earlier in the day to accompany us to the banquet. We had explained to him that we already knew we were in the top 12. The food was pretty good. The speaker was Linda Hemminger, a local who had just retired from the Air Force. As it turns out, she had given me and Jessica a ride from the airport to the hotel a few days prior. She was the Mobilization Assistant to the Deputy Surgeon General. She gave a very nice speech about the importance of women in aviation. After the dinner she gave both Jessica and I one of her personal coins, a tradition in the military. It's a great honor to receive a coin from military personnel.

The first prizes handed out were the leg prizes. The top four scoring teams for each leg won a cash prize and a small medallion. The teams in the Top 10 were not eligible for leg prizes. We were sure that we had some really good legs, so as long as we weren't called we would know we were in the Top 10. We waited nervously as they called the teams up. They were being called in the order of their Classic number. Being Classic 32, we had baited breath for a few moments...they skipped over our number! We looked at each other and grinned. We knew we'd made it to at least the Top 10.

Next was the Collegiate Trophy. This was crucial. It meant bragging rights for an entire year. The trophy travels to the winning school. Embry Riddle Daytona had won it last year and had to relinquish it for the banquet. Marilyn, the President of the Race committee, asked all of the collegiate teams to stand. All seven teams received a round of applause from the audience. She started with fourth place. "Fourth place goes to Purdue." Next was third. Jessica and I nervously made eye contact. "Third place goes to Embry Riddle Daytona." My heart started to beat faster. I glanced at Tad and he looked giddy. "Second place goes to...Embry Riddle Prescott." Now I felt like anyone looking at me would see my heart beating visibly in my chest. We won! "And first place goes to Indiana State University! Jessica Campbell and Victoria Dunbar!" We flashed huge grins at each other then quickly walked up to the stage to receive the trophy, all amid applause from the audience. How cool was this!?! I'm so proud of us! We flew an awesome race and it showed in the results. Go ISU! We had no problem smiling for the cameras.

Next came the Top 10 teams. We knew that we had done better than both of the Riddles, who were both in the Top 10. Once both of them had been called up, it could be anytime. "In tenth, Classic 23 - Embry Riddle Daytona." "In ninth, Classic 9. In eighth, Classic 20. In seventh, Classic 31." Classic 31 was a team from Minnesota. They were not a collegiate team, but the pilot was the 18 year old who had just graduated from high school. Way to go! "In sixth, Classic 43 - Embry Riddle Prescott." Jessica and I knew we could be called next. I looked at Tad. he had a huge grin on his face. "Top 5!" "In fifth, Classic 17." My heart started beating faster. "In fourth, Classic 12." "In third, Classic 2." Holy crap, we were either first or second! "In second, Classic 32" That's us! We got second place! How exciting. We walked up to the stage to receive our medallions amidst applause and flashing cameras. We both had perma-grins the rest of the night.

I'll blog more later but I need to get to bed because tomorrow we are flying home. I miss my boys!

Us with the Collegiate Trophy and our second place medallions.


  1. Great job! Thanks for posting each day. It was fun to follow along with the two of you.

  2. Congrats Ladies!!!! You guys did awesome!!!!

  3. This is just fantastic! What a great job! It's just so cool that you two (and little ole ISU) kicked some major big-time butts!

  4. Congratulations!
    You ladies flew an awesome race. It was exciting to follow along on your blog.
    Diamond Aircraft Product Support, Wiener Neustadt, Austria

  5. Way to go. You guys did great!!