The Chapel Hill-based Bouncing Bulldogs participated in the Fourth Annual World Jump Rope Championship held July 1-5 at the University of Central Florida in Orlando and dominated both the junior and senior divisions. They earned a total of 633 awards: 292 gold, 200 silver, and 141 bronze.
Some of the best jumpers from 15 different countries as well as 25 states within the U.S. competed in up to 17 events, including speed, freestyle, and group shows with both single rope and Double Dutch styles.
Jumper Shalini Stockmans commented that the Bulldogs’ “hard work throughout the year, and good behavior and focus during the competition” helped them to stand out from other teams.• In the Junior 14 and Younger Division, Raymond Gao and Anna Furlong won Individual All-Around Single Rope awards. Furlong and her group members Bella Davis, Rebecca Koweek, and Kenneth Cato were All-Around winners in the Junior Open single rope and Double Dutch divisions.
• In the Junior 14 and Younger Division, Ragan Copeland, Avery Myers, Robin Gao, and Alyssa Casillas were named All-Around single rope team.
• The14-under Double Dutch team All-Around award went to Alex Bush, Jordyn Watkins, Bailey Pons, and Megan Shofi.
• Building on that success, seniors (15 and older) Whitney Watkins, Kenzie Ruston, Lily Merrigan, and Anna Reeb earned Female All-Around Team awards in both single rope and Double Dutch.
• Adam Weston, Austin von Alten, Andrew Mauch, and Raymond Gao came in first for the Male All-Around Double Dutch Senior Team.
• The Bouncing Bulldogs were also awarded first place in Junior and Senior Team Show events, earning the overall title of world champions for the fourth straight year.
According to Weston, the team’s support for each other was a major reason for their success.
“We went into the competition with the right mindset. Everyone was very encouraging and positive,” said Weston.
In addition, Furlong said, the Bulldogs’ older jumpers and their younger teammates coached each other on the floor during each event.
“Having an older kid out on the floor made the younger jumpers less nervous and more comfortable,” Furlong said. “It also helped them have a good experience.”
Coach Ray Fredrick Jr. pointed out that all 88 of the 135 Bouncing Bulldogs who participated in the world competition left as a top-five finisher. “This may have been the best performance by our team in a world competition,” he said.