CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Paper airplanes flew across Memorial Gymnasium at the University of Virginia as students from UVa, Virginia Tech and James Madison University competed for a trip to Europe.

Students were attempting to qualify for a spot in the Red Bull Paper Wings championship scheduled for May 8-9 in Salzburg, Austria. There are 75 qualifying rounds throughout the United States and more than 80 countries participate in the championship.

Robby Boys, a senior at Virginia Tech, won two of the three events March 28 at UVa. He competed in paper airplane competitions at King's Dominion in middle school and wanted to try again.

"This gave me the opportunity to come back here and hone in on my skills and compete (and) . try and get on the national qualifying level for a trip to Austria," Boys said.

His plane flew 80 feet, earning a first-place medal for distance, and, in another round, his plane flew for four seconds, earning him a second first-place medal for airtime.

UVa student John Clare won first place for the in-flight aerobatics. In that round, participants had one minute for a creative performance which was then rated by judges. Students stretched, took a knee in the style of former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, did one-handed cartwheels, jumped, twisted, spun and more before throwing their planes.

UVa fourth-year Joel Reynolds said he only learned how to make a paper airplane on Saturday, but ended up taking second place in distance by throwing one 62 feet.

"It's all about the design — just work shopping," he said. "We were probably here for about an hour before the competition started just working on our planes. So just trial and error — mostly error."

After qualifying rounds at other universities are completed, Saturday's competitors will learn whether anyone from Virginia is going to Salzburg.

About 15 students competed, with some leaving after one or two rounds and others joining in round three.

"It's definitely an entertaining event," said Cody Williams, a JMU graduate who was working as a judge. "At first it was a little slow but people seem to be getting into the atmosphere because it's really laid back. It's really approachable — anyone can come up and do it."

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Information from: The Daily Progress, http://www.dailyprogress.com