Local skydiver wins championship, slot on US parachute team

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte resident Cheryl Stearns won multiple gold medals Saturday in the style and accuracy competition at the 2013 U.S. Parachute Association National Skydiving Championships.

As the national champion, Stearns has earned a slot on the U.S Parachute Team, which will represent the United States at next year's World Parachuting Championships.

In accuracy competition, jumpers exit an airplane more than 3,000 feet in the air and then steer their parachutes to land on a dime-sized dot. For style, an individual jumper performs a pre-determined series of loops and spins in freefall as quickly as possible. Stearns won the overall gold, the gold in accuracy and the silver in style.

Stearns, 58, has completed an astounding 19,550 jumps and has won multiple national championships. She works as a captain flying 727s for USAirways.