Women skydive into the record books
On the last day of May, three North Dakota women jumped from an airplane two miles above West Fargo. Late last week, Becky Baird, Amy Marquardt and Missy Fale landed in the record books when the U.S.
On the last day of May, three North Dakota women jumped from an airplane two miles above West Fargo.
Late last week, Becky Baird, Amy Marquardt and Missy Fale landed in the record books when the U.S. Parachute Association certified the May jump as North Dakota's largest all-female skydiving formation.
"In a state where the trends are slow to come, we women of Skydive Fargo took it upon ourselves to bridge the gap in this male-dominated sport," said Marquardt, who attends North Dakota State University in Fargo and competes as a pole-vaulter for the NDSU track and field team.
Marquardt said she and Fale, who is from Minot, N.D., have made about 50 jumps each, while Baird, of Fargo, is a veteran of about 1,000 jumps.
The three are the only female jumpers in the Skydive Fargo skydiving club.
Marquardt said she would like to see more women take the plunge.
"As a whole, I think women are starting to come up in this sport and starting to make a name for themselves," she said.
The record-setting jump was documented photographically by Baird's husband, Wade, a member of Skydive Fargo who took up the sport in 2002 after meeting his future wife, who began skydiving about two years before they met.
Before the record jump, the women practiced their formation on the ground for about 10 minutes, or roughly twice the time they actually spent dropping through the air.
"You free-fall for a minute, and then you're under the parachute two or three minutes," Marquardt said.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555