2011 USA Jump Rope National Championship
In The News
The Cary YMCA SuperSkippers won 2nd Place Overall Freestyle and tied for 2nd Overall Team at the 2011 USA Jump Rope National Championship in Galveston, Texas. This year, the team sent a record 40 athletes to compete in the tournament.
The team qualified for 12 events in the USA Jump Rope Grand Nationals, where the top scorers across all age groups compete against one another.
Grand National Awards
Graham Booth - 3rd Place, Male Single Rope Speed
John Mangum - 2nd Place, Male Triple Unders
Amy Tarquini - 2nd Place, Female Triple Unders
John Mangum & Olivia Enright - 1st Place, Single Rope Pairs Freestlyle
Sarah Chen, Ellen Emmerson, Becca Purser & Jessie Robinson - 2nd Place, Female Double-Dutch Pairs Freestyle (15-17)
Matthew Russell - 3rd Place, Individual All-Around Male (14-under)
Cary YMCA SuperSkippers - 2nd Place, Large Team Show
Age Division Awards
Male Single Rope Speed (11-12) 3rd - Nick Higgins, 6th - Matthew Russell, 7th - Justin Freeman (13-14) 2nd - Graham Booth (18-over) 8th - John Mangum, 10th - Hunter Adams
Female Single Rope Speed (11-12) 7th - Ashlyn Worthington, 9th - Ashleigh Steadman (13-14) 6th - Alex Davis-Isaac, 6th - Catherine Shaw (15-17) 10th - Becca Purser
Single Rope Speed Relay (12-under) 1st - Mathew Russell / Ashleigh Steadman / Nick Higgins / Ashlyn Worthington, 10th - Miranda Chartier / Justin Freeman / Abby Strickler / Morgan Johnson (13-14) 1st - Alex Davis-Isaac / Graham Booth / Catherine Shaw / Kristin Andrejko, 10th - Morgan Adams / Katlyn Purser / Jenny Wang / Emily Jahn (15-17) 2nd - Sarah Chen / Jessie Robinson / Becca Purser / Kaitlyn Russell, 9th - John McGarrahan / Grace Forster / Ellen Emmerson / Rebecca Furth
Male Triple Unders (15-17) 9th - Andrew Hope (18-over) 2nd - John Mangum
Female Triple Unders (15-17) 2nd - Sarah Chen, 8th - Jessie Robinson (18-over) 2nd - Amy Tarquini
Female Single Rope Freestyle (11-12) 7th - Abby Strickler, 9th - Ashleigh Steadman (13-14) 6th - Morgan Adams, 8th - Catherine Shaw (18-22) 10th - Olivia Enright
Male Single Rope Freestyle (11-12) 2nd - Matthew Russell, 7th - Nick Higgins, 8th - Justin Freeman (13-14) 2nd - Graham Booth (18-22) 10th - Dan Thompson
Single Rope Pairs Freestyle (13-14) 8th - Nicole Enright / Morgan Adams (15-17) 5th - John McGarrahan / Kristin Andrejko (18-over) 4th - Olivia Enright / John Mangum, 10th - Dan Thompson / Hunter Adams
Female Single Rope Pairs Freestyle (15-17) 4th - Sarah Chen (18-over) 2nd - Lauren Warzecho / Grace Forster
Double Dutch Speed Relay (12-under) 7th - Matthew Russell / Nick Higgins / Justin Freeman (13-14) 3rd - Nicole Enright / Morgan Adams / Graham Booth (15-17) 6th - Catherine Shaw / Alex Davis-Isaac / Hannah Butler
Double Dutch Single Freestyle (13-14) 3rd - Morgan Adams / Nicole Enright / Matthew Russell, 4th - Hannah Hendren / Katlyn Purser / Allison O'Connor, 10th - Emily Jahn / Ashley DeNardo / Graham Booth (15-17) 7th - Kristin Andrejko / Rebecca Furth / John McGarrahan, 10th - Lauren Warzecho / Hunter Adams / Olivia Enright, 9th - Rebecca Furth / Becca Purser / Ellen Emmerson
Double Dutch Pairs Speed (12-under) 6th - Nick Higgins / Justin Freeman / Ashlyn Worthington / Abby Strickler (13-14) 4th - Graham Booth / Nicole Enright / Matthew Russell / Morgan Adams, 6th - Natalie Ellis / Kristin Andrejko / Emily Jahn (15-17) 3rd - Catherine Shaw / Alex Davis-Isaac / Hannah Butler / Claire Ridout
Female Double Dutch Freestyle (15-17) 2nd - Hannah Butler / Jessie Robinson / Sarah Chen, 8th - Claire Ridout / Alex Davis-Isaac / Catherine Shaw, 10th - Becca Purser / Ellen Emmerson / Kaitlyn Russell
Double Dutch Pairs Freestyle (12-under) 4th - Carly Brockman / Ashleigh Steadman / Morgan Johnson / Miranda Chartier (13-14) 1st - Graham Booth/Nicole Enright / Morgan Adams / Matthew Russell (15-17) 5th - Kristin Andrejko / John McGarrahan / Rebecca Furth / Kaitlyn Russell (18-over) 4th - Amy Tarquini / Grace Forster / John Mangum / Dan Thompson, 10th - Lauren Warzecho / Hunter Adams / Olivia Enright / Erin Stewart
Female Double Dutch Pairs Freestyle (15-17) 2nd - Alex Davis-Isaac / Catherine Shaw / Hannah Butler / Claire Ridout, 6th - Jessie Robinson / Sarah Chen / Ellen Emmerson / Becca Purser
Super Skippers Jump to the Top of the World
BY MAUREEN TARQUINI, CARY YMCA SUPER SKIPPERS
Five members of the Cary YMCA Super Skippers jump rope team recently returned home from Toronto with a couple of special souvenirs — toboggans and gold medals.
It messed up their hair, but the five — Amy Tarquini, Lauren Warzecho, Melissa Robinson, Anna Perry and Amanda Kramer — were more than happy to put on the toboggans. They stood on the podium to receive their overall gold medal for Junior (12-14) Female teams in the Maple Leaf International Rope Skipping competition. The Maple Leaf International and Worlds competitions were hosted by the International Rope Skipping Federation and ran from July 20 to 24 in Toronto. The event, which occurs every two years, brings together the top skippers from all around the globe — approximately 500 jumpers from 16 countries spanning six continents participated in this year’s event.
Rope skipping is a rapidly growing sport. There are currently 36 member countries in FISAC and the international committee is pursuing the inclusion of jump rope in the Olympics. The sport is expected to gain further momentum with the January 2007 release of a Disney Channel movie about a double-dutch team going to the Worlds (footage for the movie was taken at the competition).
Practicing winning ways
For anyone who has ever seen a jump rope competition, it becomes obvious pretty quickly that this is not a playground game — and it’s not for the faint of heart. In one of the Super Skippers’ especially demanding double-dutch tricks, two of the girls perform a simultaneous one-handed handstand while inside two turning ropes.
Such feats require extensive training and practice. The five girls have all been jumping with the team for four to five years. In the months leading up to the Worlds competition, the team practiced five to six days every week. While the Super Skippers are no strangers to national awards, having won medals in both the AAU JR Olympics and the U.S. Amateur Jump Rope National competitions, this was the first time any members had jumped in an international competition. The girls qualified to be members of Team USA with a first-place age-group finish in the U.S. Trials in Boulder, Colo., in March.
In addition to the top two overall teams, up to three teams in each age category (12-14,15-17 and 18-plus) and gender (all female, all male and mixed) were selected to represent the United States. The placements were made by determining who had the most points after eight separate events — four double-dutch and four single rope with a combination of speed and freestyle events. The girls were thrilled to be part of Team USA, but never dreamed that they would go on to win at Maple Leaf. In addition to the overall gold medal, the Super Skippers took a first or second place finish in six of the eight events.
To say that these skippers are fast may be an understatement: In the single-rope speed relay, the girls averaged well over five rotations per second for the two-minute event. However, in spite of the fact that they did very well in the speed events, the team members had even greater success in the four freestyle events (single-rope pairs, single-rope four-person team show, double-dutch three-person and double-dutch four-person), where they dominated, winning a silver or gold in every category.
The routines, which are set to music and judged on both presentation/creativity and technical content. The routines have to be difficult enough to score highly in content, but must be near flawlessly executed, as one mistake lops off a full point out of the maximum 10 given for presentation.
The girls’ strongest challenge came from fellow Americans: two Bouncing Bulldogs teams from Durham. In the end, the U.S. teams swept all three overall medals in the junior female team competition, with the two Bulldogs teams taking the silver and bronze.
In addition to the Super Skippers and Bulldogs, several other local teams (Skipsations! from Chapel Hill and Impact Triforce from Cary) were also represented on Team USA. In fact, 36 out of the approximately 150 Team USA members were from the Triangle.
The Bouncing Bulldogs from Durham had 25 members on the team and took home five overall team medals. The Skipsations! from Chapel Hill had six members on the team and the senior females (Anna Schimmelfing, Wren Haaland, Suzanne Cash, Cindy Melton and Laura Engleman) took the overall gold in the Worlds 18-plus female division, finally beating the Hungarian girls who relegated them to the silver medal in the 2002 and 2004 Worlds. Tyler Perez from Cary’s Impact TriForce was a member of a senior (18-plus) all-male team that took home the overall silver medal in the Worlds competition.
In addition, Perez and Cash took the overall bronze medals in the individual (Masters) portion of the Maple Leaf event.
A highlight of the trip was the opportunity to meet actor Corbin Bleu of “High School Musical” fame when he came to watch the competition. He was in Toronto filming the movie for Disney Channel (working title — “Jump!”). Their former teammates Tyler Perez and Kiara Felder both landed parts in the movie. Perez was part of a rival double-dutch team and Felder was the “skipping double” for one of the lead actresses.
The girls would like to especially thank their coaches, Gary Anderson and Carie Steber. Anderson knows a thing or two about jump roping, since he is the repeat National freestyle champ in the males over-30 age division. His energy and enthusiasm for the sport are contagious. Steber has been skipping with the team for 10 years and coaching for the last two. Her kindness and boundless encouragement will be greatly missed when she leaves to attend Wingate University this fall.
The team also gratefully acknowledges the encouragement from the rest of their teammates, former coaches Tommy Hager and Shay Perez, the Cary Family YMCA and the team sponsors.
CARA ENRIGHT AND LAURA ROBINSON PERFORM A DIFFICULT JUMP ROPE ROUTINE AS MEMBERS OF THE SUPERSKIPPERS
Athletes Skip to Success
Hundreds of area jump rope athletes will compete this weekend at a regional tournament hosted by the Cary YMCA SuperSkippers at Apex High School. And if the term athlete and jump rope are in any way a stretch when pondering this relatively young sport, consider that many experienced jumpers on the SuperSkippers team train heavily, not only, in jump rope, but in other sports like track, soccer and volleyball.
Many of the long-time SuperSkippers have found that jump rope training leads to better overall athletic performance by improving speed, agility and endurance.
Cara Enright, 17, a seventh-year SuperSkippers, is one of several veteran SuperSkippers who has benefited from cross training, or training in various sports to work different muscle groups. Cara and her sister, Olivia, 15, also a long-time SuperSkippers, both compete on the Green Hope High School Track Team in Cary. In addition to track, Cara has participated in gymnastics (offered through jump rope) and played on soccer teams.
Jump rope training has definitely improved the girls’ athletic ability, says their mother, Kathy Enright. “When they do a lot of the drills in track, Cara is really fast at moving her legs,” says Enright. “Her feet will just be flying and the other kids will say, ?How are you doing that?’” The answer: the drill at track practice is identical to jumping rope for one-minute speed, something the Enright girls have been practicing for years.
Track practice also has helped Cara with jump rope because of strength training requirements for “Building muscle strength helped her do jump rope tricks like mule kick and push-ups.”
“I think gymnastics and jump rope is a good base for any sport,” adds Meredith Mangum, whose son, John, 15, is a veteran SuperSkippers and pole-vaults for Green Hope High School track team.
Janice Robinson’s three daughters, Laura, 18, Melissa, 16 and Jessie, 14, all have been SuperSkippers for six years or more and all have participated in either soccer or track. Kelly Konrad, 16 and Lauren Mincey, 17, also are long-time SuperSkippers who run track.
Soccer coaches used to be disappointed when her daughter, Jessie, missed practices because of jump rope, says Robinson, but now that they see how much jump rope has increased her speed, they don’t complain. Maureen Tarquini, whose 15-year-old daughter Amy also plays soccer, says jump rope has definitely improved her daughter’s speed on the soccer field as well as her strength.
And the most obvious benefit of jump rope, jumping itself, has been harnessed by seven-year team member, Amanda Kramer, 14, whose volleyball team placed 11th in national competitions. At around five feet, four inches, Kramer is definitely not the tallest player on her volleyball team, but what she lacks in height she makes up for with a phenomenal vertical leap mastered during years of jump rope training.
Come see some of these amazing athletes compete against other area jump rope teams at the family-oriented, all-day Regional USA Junior Tournament event hosted by the Cary YMCA SuperSkippers at Apex High School on Saturday, April 19. Admission is free and concessions are available.
Participating teams include Cary Impact Tri-Force the Cary YMCA Super Skippers, the Bouncing Bulldogs, IMPACT Tri-Force and the SkipSations! Winners of the regional competition will compete in the national USA Jump Rope competition tentatively scheduled for June 27-29, 2008 in Orlando, Fla. at Disney World. USA Jump Rope is a nonprofit organization committed to the exchange and sharing of jump rope knowledge and experience.
WHILE ACC BASKETBALL CAPTIVATED MANY IN THE TRIANGLE, COMPETITORS OF A DIFFERENT ILK, LIKE ELLEN EMERSON, 12, OF CARY, SKIPPED ROPE FOR JUDGES AT APEX HIGH SCHOOL. STAFF PHOTOS BY CHUCK LIDDY
Rope-skippers hop to top of new sport.
Playground pastime takes on a competitive edge
JOHN MURAWSKI, Staff Writer
APEX - When his high school peers in Cary were playing football and basketball, Tyler Perez was enduring the taunts and snickers that are unavoidable with the sport he chose: jump rope.
That's not a misprint. Jumping rope, usually thought of as a girly playground game, has evolved into a sport you can watch on ESPN: gravity-defying feats of agility that resemble gymnastics performed with a high-performance lasso.
Though only about a quarter-century old, competitive rope skipping has developed a distinct sports culture, with its own tournament circuit, celebrity athletes, private trainers and drug testing before international tournaments. And the Triangle has emerged as one of the world's hubs for rope-skipping talent, with four world-class clubs.
Perez, a 20-year-old jump rope athlete who has trained since age 13, competed Saturday at Apex High School in the Amateur Athletic Union Jump Rope District Championship. The N.C. State University junior was one of about 140 rope skippers ages 7 to 22 from North Carolina and Virginia, all vying for slots in the Junior Olympics finals this summer.
"If this sport were an Olympic sport," Perez said, "I would generously venture to say there are four to five people here today who would qualify to compete in the Olympics."
The term "jump" is a misnomer, for the sport involves every conceivable variation on the theme: flips, cartwheels, splits, handstands, rolls, twists, cancan dance moves and Cossack-style squat-stepping. At the advanced stage, the rope skippers release the rope at one end, never missing a beat while the rope circles the air and magically springs back into their clutch. All the while, the athletes are expected to smile calmly at the judges, one of the polite conventions of the sport.
As a teenager, Perez would silence doubters with the humble tool of his trade: a $2 jump rope whirring in a 180 mph blur. Today he is considered one of the top names in the sport. He made a cameo appearance in "Jump In!" -- this year's Disney Channel movie about the the jump rope craze and has traveled the world as a member of the USA Jump Rope All Star Team, the sport's equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters.
As the competition level intensifies, rope skipping is following a familiar pattern established in other sports. It's not unheard of for kids to get up at 5 a.m. to train. Parents hire private coaches to give their budding champions an edge. But the sport hasn't yet evolved to the adrenal stage where parents try to disqualify judges and threaten other kids, said Marley Braun, a Cary resident whose 11-year-old daughter competed Saturday.
Rope-skipping competitions grade athletes on speed, power and freestyle routines. The athletes perform solo and in double-dutch partnerships. They play for only about a minute, but that can be enough time to make 320 steps.
The routines are so complex and lightning-quick that the top score -- a 10 -- is more elusive than a hole-in-one in golf.
"I don't think I've ever seen one," said Anna Schimmelfing, 21, a competitor from Chapel Hill. "I would say it's near impossible."
Schimmelfing, a graduate of Elon University and a substitute elementary school teacher, is another of the world's rope skipping stars. Like Perez, she is also coaching the next generation of competitive rope skippers.
Although this is a young sport, there are leagues for adults and seniors. But already, the sport's range of possibilities has developed beyond any one jumper's physical ability.
"No one can do every trick there is," Schimmelfing said.
Local Rope Jumpers Bring Home Gold Medals
The Cary YMCA Super Skippers brought home 10 overall gold medals from a regional jump rope competition in Chapel Hill attended by seven top competitive area jump rope teams. All Super Skippers participants, both boys and girls, qualified for the AAU Junior Olympic Competition to be held this summer.
Seven teams of nearly 200 jump rope athletes faced off in this AAU Junior Olympic qualifier held March 8 at UNC’s Fetzer Gym and hosted by the SkipSations! team of Chapel Hill. At the end of the day, the Cary Super Skippers walked away with nearly one third of the overall medals and nearly half of the single-event awards. The team swept the overall medals in the15-17-year-old female Singles Freestyle event, winning gold, silver and bronze. Super Skippers also dominated the Double Dutch category. Of 37 Double Dutch teams competing, the 11 Super Skippers Double Dutch teams received some of the highest marks as a whole, all finishing seventh place or above.
In addition to overall gold, the team won 12 overall silver medals and six overall bronze medals.
Participants also received individual ribbons for garnering top scores in single events. In addition to the overall medals, the Super Skippers team received 33 first-place ribbons, 32 second-place ribbons and 29 third-place ribbons.
In the Female Speed event, Super Skipper Jessie Robinson, 14, tied for top speed with Suzanne Cash, 19, of the SkipSations!, with 307 jumps in a minute.
The top 10 athletes in each age group in Male Singles, Female Singles, Pairs and Double Dutch qualified for the AAU Jr. Olympic Games to be held in Detroit in July.
The Super Skippers team consists of more than 60 athletes, both boys and girls, who compete in regional, national, and international competitions.