A local jump-roping team, Just Jumpin’, received numerous awards during the USA Jump Rope Grand National Tournament, held June 29 through July 2 in Orlando, Florida.
Nine of the team members scored in the top 10 in different events. The team is composed of kids 18 and younger from all over the valley.
McKenzie Scott won first place in the female triple unders, an event where a rope comes under you three times and you see how many times you can jump over it. Scott won first by jumping 172 consecutive times. Scott, along with Hope Summers, Dan Mickelson and Braeden Budge, took fourth place in Double Dutch pairs freestyle while Budge, Mickelson and Bryan Jamison took seventh in Double Dutch speed relay.
Rachel Betolio took 10th in single rope freestyle and she and Hannah Summers, Jesse Turnbow and Lauren Bell took third in female Double Dutch pairs.
Scott, a resident of River Heights who recently graduated from Mountain Crest High School, said she was very surprised when she won triple unders.
“I never thought that I could win with 172 because there are people who usually get over 200 who are winning. I was like, ‘Wow, I actually won the trophy,’” Scott said. “I was pretty excited, but I’m also kind of humble when I win awards. I don’t want to be the one person freaking out about it. I was excited that I finally got my trophy after so many years of competing.”
Scott got into competitive jump roping after a club was formed at her elementary school.
“I joined it with Boys and Girls Club. I had to pass off both level one and level two of the skills that you learn. After that, you could be part of the performance or competitive,” Scott said. “I was like, ‘I might as well try the competitive side of it.’ I fell in love with it and stuck with it.”
The national competition is set up for three days of competing in the different events, either individually or in pairs. If you qualify during the national competition, you move on to grand nationals, which take place on the fourth day.
Bertolio, 18, joined the team when she was in elementary as well. During nationals, she competed in every event, but only qualified to go on with singles and Double Dutch pairs. She said when she and Turnbow, Bell and Summers won third place, they all were very excited.
“We thought it was so crazy because none of us ever made it to grand nationals before. Me and my friend Hannah had never even been before. Just that we even went was crazy, but then we placed in the top 10, (which) was way exciting,” Bertolio said. “It’s a big honor to be able to compete with all of the big people in your sport because not a lot of people are able to say that they’ve been to the very height of their sport.”