Four Jumpers garner national silver medals

Posted: Sunday, July 06, 2003

Four Juneau Jumpers won silver medals in double-dutch pairs freestyle competition last month at the U.S. National Jump Rope Tournament in Orlando, Fla.

Amber Johnson, Lesley Kalbrener, Nicole Lim and Tera Ross took second place in the 15-17 age division with their performance. Then the quartet moved on to take third place overall in Grand National finals at the tournament, held June 20-22. The Grand National events were taped by ESPN and will be televised on cable later this summer.

"We ended up nailing (our performance) in prelims, so we got to go on to finals," Johnson said last week. In finals, "we ended up nailing it again."

The tournament drew 67 teams and more than 800 competitors, and the first two days were devoted to age-division competition. The top 12 jumpers from speed events and top three jumpers from freestyle events went on to the Grand National finals on the last day.

"It was more nervewracking to do it in prelims, because you have a lot more people to go against, and you're all trying to get to finals," Johnson said.

The television cameras at the finals also caused a bit of anxiety, Johnson said, but the team members "had a really good flow," and they were able to throw in some tricks like double-under sequences.

Isabel Bush and Laura Knapp were the other Juneau Jumpers who competed at the national tournament.

The Juneau Thunderfeet jump rope team sent four members to Orlando - Alissa Hulbert, Margaret Meiners, Gracie Meiners and Sophia Wahto.

Two jumpers from Hoonah - Christopher and Allison Matter - also competed in the tournament, along with several jumpers from Sitka. Allison Matter took second place in the 18-over age division in the three-minute speed event.

One of the Sitka jumpers, Kristen Case, finished tied for second in the 15-17 age division for single rope speed jumping, but went on to take first place in Grand National competition.

Juneau Jumpers with top-10 individual finishes in the age divisions were:

• Amber Johnson (15-17 age division): sixth place, one-minute speed; sixth, single rope freestyle.

• Isabel Bush (12-14): eighth, three-minute speed.

• Lesley Kalbrener (15-17): eighth, three-minute speed; ninth, triple-unders; 10th, one-minute speed.

In addition to their double-dutch pairs freestyle silver medals, Johnson, Kalbrener, Lim and Ross teamed up to take seventh place in their division for the single-rope speed relay and tenth in the double-dutch pairs speed relay.

Johnson, Kalbrener and Lim finished ninth in the double-dutch speed relay.

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