Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Site Content
Expand About JUAbout JUAbout JU
Expand Academic AdvisingAcademic AdvisingAcademic Advising
Expand Academic AffairsAcademic AffairsAcademic Affairs
Expand AcademicsAcademicsAcademics
Expand Accelerated Degree ProgramAccelerated Degree ProgramAccelerated Degree Program
Expand AdmissionsAdmissionsAdmissions
Expand AlumniAlumniAlumni
Expand AspireAspireAspire
Expand AviationAviationAviation
Expand BiologyBiologyBiology
Expand Campus ActivitiesCampus ActivitiesCampus Activities
Expand Campus LifeCampus LifeCampus Life
Expand Campus MinistriesCampus MinistriesCampus Ministries
Expand Campus SecurityCampus SecurityCampus Security
Expand Career Development CenterCareer Development CenterCareer Development Center
Expand Center for Student SuccessCenter for Student SuccessCenter for Student Success
Expand Center for Teaching and LearningCenter for Teaching and LearningCenter for Teaching and Learning
Expand College of Arts and SciencesCollege of Arts and SciencesCollege of Arts and Sciences
Expand College of Fine ArtsCollege of Fine ArtsCollege of Fine Arts
Expand College of Health ScienceCollege of Health ScienceCollege of Health Science
Expand College of Interdisciplinary and Professional StudiesCollege of Interdisciplinary and Professional StudiesCollege of Interdisciplinary and Professional Studies
Expand CommunicationCommunicationCommunication
Expand Computing ScienceComputing ScienceComputing Science
Expand ControllerControllerController
Expand Davis College of Business at Jacksonville UniversityDavis College of Business at Jacksonville UniversityDavis College of Business at Jacksonville University
Expand Department of ChemistryDepartment of ChemistryDepartment of Chemistry
Expand Division of HumanitiesDivision of HumanitiesDivision of Humanities
Expand Division of Student LifeDivision of Student LifeDivision of Student Life
Expand Dolphin AlliesDolphin AlliesDolphin Allies
Expand Dolphinium RecordsDolphinium RecordsDolphinium Records
Expand DuplicatingDuplicatingDuplicating
Expand EchoEchoEcho
Expand Employee Advisory CouncilEmployee Advisory CouncilEmployee Advisory Council
Expand EngineeringEngineeringEngineering
Expand EnglishEnglishEnglish
Expand Event SchedulingEvent SchedulingEvent Scheduling
Expand Experts ListExperts ListExperts List
Expand Faculty & StaffFaculty & StaffFaculty & Staff
Expand Finance & AdministrationFinance & AdministrationFinance & Administration
Expand Financial AidFinancial AidFinancial Aid
Expand FrenchFrenchFrench
Expand Freshman Interest NetworkFreshman Interest NetworkFreshman Interest Network
Expand GeographyGeographyGeography
Expand Green Pages Student HandbookGreen Pages Student HandbookGreen Pages Student Handbook
Expand HonorsHonorsHonors
Expand Human ResourcesHuman ResourcesHuman Resources
Expand HumanitiesHumanitiesHumanities
Expand Information TechnologyInformation TechnologyInformation Technology
Expand Institutional EffectivenessInstitutional EffectivenessInstitutional Effectiveness
Expand Institutional Review BoardInstitutional Review BoardInstitutional Review Board
Expand International Student ServicesInternational Student ServicesInternational Student Services
Expand Journal of Research Across the DisciplinesJournal of Research Across the DisciplinesJournal of Research Across the Disciplines
Expand JU BlogJU BlogJU Blog
Expand JU CheerleadingJU CheerleadingJU Cheerleading
Expand JU Marching BandJU Marching BandJU Marching Band
Expand JU Public Policy InstituteJU Public Policy InstituteJU Public Policy Institute
Expand JU Sailing TeamJU Sailing TeamJU Sailing Team
Expand JU Shooting ClubJU Shooting ClubJU Shooting Club
Expand JUTrainingJUTrainingJUTraining
Expand Leadership & LearningLeadership & LearningLeadership & Learning
Expand Marketing & CommunicationsMarketing & CommunicationsMarketing & Communications
Expand MathematicsMathematicsMathematics
Expand Media BoardMedia BoardMedia Board
Expand Military and Veterans InformationMilitary and Veterans InformationMilitary and Veterans Information
Expand OrientationOrientationOrientation
Expand ortho_devortho_devortho_dev
Expand Parent & FamiliesParent & FamiliesParent & Families
Expand PhilosophyPhilosophyPhilosophy
Expand Physical PlantPhysical PlantPhysical Plant
Expand PhysicsPhysicsPhysics
Expand Post OfficePost OfficePost Office
Expand PPI DevPPI DevPPI Dev
Expand PresidentPresidentPresident
Expand PurchasingPurchasingPurchasing
Expand RegistrarRegistrarRegistrar
Expand Residential LifeResidential LifeResidential Life
Expand School of EducationSchool of EducationSchool of Education
Expand School of OrthodonticsSchool of OrthodonticsSchool of Orthodontics
Expand SearchSearchSearch
Expand Service LearningService LearningService Learning
Expand Social ScienceSocial ScienceSocial Science
Expand SpanishSpanishSpanish
Expand Sport & Exercise Science ConferenceSport & Exercise Science ConferenceSport & Exercise Science Conference
Expand Sport and Exercise ScienceSport and Exercise ScienceSport and Exercise Science
Expand Student Counseling CenterStudent Counseling CenterStudent Counseling Center
Expand Student Involvement and LeadershipStudent Involvement and LeadershipStudent Involvement and Leadership
Expand Student ResourcesStudent ResourcesStudent Resources
Expand Student Success ProgramsStudent Success ProgramsStudent Success Programs
Expand Study AbroadStudy AbroadStudy Abroad
Expand Support Jacksonville UniversitySupport Jacksonville UniversitySupport Jacksonville University
Expand SustainabilitySustainabilitySustainability
Expand TRIO Student Support ServicesTRIO Student Support ServicesTRIO Student Support Services
Expand Wilma's Little People's SchoolWilma's Little People's SchoolWilma's Little People's School
Expand Writing Across the CurriculumWriting Across the CurriculumWriting Across the Curriculum
Expand Writing at JUWriting at JUWriting at JU
Expand Writing CenterWriting CenterWriting Center
Page Banner LibraryPage Banner Library
Expand Site AssetsSite AssetsSite Assets
Site Collection DocumentsSite Collection Documents
Expand Style LibraryStyle LibraryStyle Library
Featured StoriesFeatured Stories
Large PicturesLarge Pictures
MainPage Banner LibraryMainPage Banner Library
News ImagesNews Images
Spotlight BannersSpotlight Banners
Content and Structure ReportsContent and Structure Reports
Helpful LinksHelpful Links
Main Menu HeadersMain Menu Headers
Main Menu LinksMain Menu Links
Reusable ContentReusable Content
Site Collection ImagesSite Collection Images
Site PagesSite Pages
Top NavigationTop Navigation
University LinksUniversity Links
Workflow TasksWorkflow Tasks


Bad weather doesn’t stop JU’s teams in all-woman 2012 Air Race Classic


By Phillip J. Milano

Team Snoopy and Team Red Baroness were not to be deterred by bad weather.
Detoured, yes, but deterred, no way.
The two Jacksonville University teams were able to finish the recent all-woman 2012 Air Race Classic despite foul weather that forced them to divert from the contest’s pre-ordained path and land at an airport in Ohio to wait things out.airraceclassic1.JPG
“We sat for an hour on the ground for the weather to improve while the clock was ticking on the race,” said Juliana Vazquez of Team Snoopy, who flew a Cirrus SR-2 with co-pilot Heather Meyer. “That part was tough, but you tell yourself, ‘This is the right thing to do. It’s better to be safe than for something to happen.’ ”
The Air Race Classic is the only all-woman transcontinental air race, tracing its 83-year history to the era of Amelia Earhart. Last year’s JU team of Sarah Morris and Leah Hetzel, won the competition, beating 11 other participating collegiate teams as well as all 50 teams made up of the top female pilots in the nation. Hetzel even coached this year’s JU teams.
This year’s race, which ran from June 19-22 over more than 2,600 air miles, started in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., and ended in Batavia, Ohio, with many stops in between. Katja Jourdan, 18, and Renee Brilhante, 20, of Team Red Baroness placed 33rd, while Vazquez, 24, and Meyer, 32, came in 45th among 55 teams.
“Being able to make tough decisions to remain safe is what counts, even if that means slower times and lower scores,” said Juan Merkt, director of the Davis Aviation Center at Jacksonville University. “This exemplifies the excellent safety and decision-making skills that our students acquire in our program. I am really proud of these pilots.”
By far the most exciting aspect of the exhausting race was completing it, said Vazquez, who graduated in May from JU with a degree in aviation management and flight operations and hopes to become a commercial pilot.airraceclassic2.jpg
“There were so many airports we stopped at that it all starts blending together. You stop for gas and it’s like, where are we again?” she said. “Crossing the finish line was so cool. We knew we were done, weren’t disqualified and had made it.”
The hardest part: marking their times just after a full descent at top speed at each airport.
“You’re passing a timing line and have to look at your time and write it down. You’re trying to do that while flying at about 140 miles per hour at 200 feet above ground … not always easy,” Vazquez said.
Originally from Brazil, Vazquez said she and Meyer worked smoothly together as a team.
“We managed well for not flying together before this race, and that all goes back to the JU training. We were trying to be as safe as possible, and we made the right call (to divert),” she said.
“In the end the race just reminded me again of why I love flying. It’s just so much fun.”
Both JU teams are thankful to the following for their support: Aerosim Flight Academy for providing the two airplanes, Michael McKenny for his continued generous support, Leah Hetzel for giving her time and advice to coach the teams, and members of their "ground crew" for all their assistance during the race.
More information: Juan Merkt, Director and Associate Professor, Davis Aviation Center, Jacksonville University,, (904) 256-7894.













Created at 6/27/2012 4:50 PM by Milano, Phillip
Last modified at 6/28/2012 11:11 AM by Milano, Phillip