Juneau Jumpers stand out in Orlando

Local squad excels at U.S. National Jump Rope Tournament

Posted: Friday, July 08, 2005

The Juneau Jumpers recently completed a successful competition at the U.S. National Jump Rope Tournament in Orlando, Fla., from June 24-26.

Juneau sent 16 athletes to Orlando and brought home a number of top-10 finishes in various disciplines and events.

"We just wanted to do well as a team together," said 18-year-old team member Nicole Lim. "Overall, I think we did well."

For Lim and a few others, this was their seventh appearance at the ESPN televised event. There were four newcomers to Orlando, however. With the bright lights, heated competition and insanely difficult tricks being completed, it can be difficult for a rookie to handle the spotlight.

Lim said, however, the new performers did their best.

"You try to relax them because it's nerve-wracking watching the other teams' talents and the amazing stunts being done," Lim said. "They have to realize that they are out for themselves and not anyone else. It's about doing your personal best."

Lim combined with teammates Amber Johnson and Lesley Kalbrener to finish second in the 18-to-22 year old double dutch single freestyle competition in the Grand National championships.

"We were hoping, we always hope to get a gold medal," Lim said. "It's very difficult."

Johnson, Kalbrener and Megan Treston finished third in the double dutch speed relay while Lim joined the trio to take fifth place overall in the double dutch pairs speed competition.

The competition is divided into speed and freestyle competitions. The speed measures the number jumps over the rope in an allotted time while freestyle is more free-flowing and includes flips and other acrobatic maneuvers.

In the National Championships, there are two days of age-group competition. The top six in the speed divisions and the top-12 in the freestyle divisions then qualify for the third day and compete for the Grand National Championship.

The tournament drew 66 teams and 816 athletes from throughout the country competed in the high-profile event.

"The adrenaline kicks in, definitely," Lim said. "This is our seventh year going down as a team so we have had a lot of practice."

Individually for the Jumpers in the age-group brackets, Grayson Carlile took seventh place in the 12-14 year old male single rope speed division.

Isabel Bush took 10th in the female three-minute speed event for 15-17 year olds.

In the 18-22 age bracket, Johnson finished second overall in the female single rope speed event, Lim took 10th in the female triple unders and Treston claimed ninth in the three-minute speed event.

In the team age-group competitions, Johnson, Kalbrener, Lim and Treston combined to take ninth in the single rope speed relay and third the double dutch pairs speed events.

Johnson, Kalbrener and Treston took fourth in the double dutch speed relay while Johnson, Kalbrener and Lim finished third in double dutch single freestyle.

In the pairs event, Johnson and Kalbrener took eighth in the single rope pairs freestyle.

Also for Juneau, Dylan Holden, Marie Holden, Iris Neary, Adam Nesheim, Talitha Wilson, Linzey Hanna, Tera Ross, Hailey Summers and Laura Knapp all competed for the Jumpers.

From Sitka, Kristen Case, Laisha Trani, Erin Weekly and Hayley Whitson combined to take 10th place nationally in the 18-22 age group single rope speed relay. Case also won her age division and finished third overall in the female single rope speed event.

• Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at sports@juneauempire.com.

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