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Texas Marine is fastest speed skydiver in the United States

Kyle Lobpries, a Marine stationed at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, won gold at the speed event at the 2017 U.S. Parachute Association National Skydiving Championships at Skydive Perris in Southern California.

COURTESY OF KYLE LOBPRIES

By ALEXANDRIA RODRIGUEZ | The Corpus Christi Caller-Times (Tribune News Service) | Published: September 30, 2017

Kyle Lobpries has jumped off mountains, bridges and planes for years.

Lobpries, a captain in the Marine Corps who is training at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, was crowned the fastest man in the United States after he took gold for the speed event at the 2017 U.S. Parachute Association National Skydiving Championships at Skydive Perris in Southern California.

The Marine also set a skydiving speed record for the nation and continent for a speed of 293 mph. He will travel to Australia for the 2017 World Parachuting Championships as a member of the U.S. Parachute Team, according to a news release.

"I've always been someone who likes to push limits," Lobpries said.

Lobpries has been skydiving for seven years and has competed in skydiving for about five years, he said.

Lobpries, who flies Cobra attack helicopters in the Marine Corps, is stationed at the naval base while training to become an instructor pilot, he said. He skydives at Skydive Spaceland in Rosharon, near Houston.

"I jumped with him one time," his father, Kurt Lobpries said. "It was the most exhilarating and most frightening thing I've ever done."

Although it's scary at times to see their son jump from thousands of feet above the ground, his mother, Lizette Lobpries, said she would rather see her son doing something that makes him happy.

Kyle Lobpries said he has been to Austrialia before for the military, and said he is excited to visit some of the country's local sites.

The marine also is tandem certified, which means another person can be strapped to him while skydiving, Kurt Lobpries said.

Lizette Lobpries has yet to skydive.

"I've been trying to learn more about it so it's not so scary," she said. "Education chases away fear. I spent a lot of time with him at his drop zone getting used to the idea."

During competition Kyle Lobpries jumps out of aircrafts and dives head-first toward the ground in an effort to reach the fastest possible speed.

He also earned a spot on the U.S. Wingsuit Flying Team where he will wear a suit, which allows for a better horizontal glide across the ground at speeds of up to 200 mph, the release states.

"I have no plan to stop competing," Kyle Lobpries said.

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©2017 the Corpus Christi Caller-Times (Corpus Christi, Texas)
Visit the Corpus Christi Caller-Times (Corpus Christi, Texas) at www.caller.com
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