Youths jump over competition Kangaroo Kids take home 18 medals in U.S. event

July 10, 1996|By Kathleen B. Hennelly | Kathleen B. Hennelly,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Competing against more than 1,100 other rope jumpers, the Howard County-based Kangaroo Kids recently brought home 18 medals from the recent U.S. National Jump Rope Championship.

The rope jumpers won four gold medals, seven silver medals, seven bronze medals and placed 27 times in the top 10 for all events in a championship held June 28-30 at Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, Fla.

The competition will be shown on ESPN Aug. 24.

Kangaroo Kids is a 16-year-old organization based in Simpsonville near Columbia.

Made up of 120 Howard County children from kindergartners through high school seniors, it focuses on cardiovascular exercising demonstrations as well as competitions.

The team has performed demonstrations and has competed throughout the United States and in Europe, Canada and Australia.

The 17 competing jumpers participated in events that included singles, doubles, double dutch, speed and freestyle competitions.

The team's next venture is to go to New Orleans and compete in the AAU Junior Olympic Games. Eighteen of the team members will compete Aug. 8-10.

Gold medals went to:

T. J. Simons of Waverly Elementary School, who won the male single rope freestyle for ages 9-11.

Marie Lopez and Marissa Schwartz of Harper's Choice Middle School and Amanda Ramsey of Wilde Lake Middle School, who won the double dutch singles freestyle for the 12-14 age group.

Silver medals went to:

Shannon Burton of Patuxent Valley Middle School, Jimmy McCleary of Mayfield Woods Middle and Amanda Ramsey from Wilde Lake Middle, who won for their age groups in the single rope freestyle.

Jessica Euler of Centennial High School, Jimmy McCleary of Mayfield Woods Middle School, Leanne Kearns of Atholton High School and Tyffani McCleary of Howard High School, who won for double dutch pairs speed.

Bronze medals went to:

Jessica Euler, Jimmy McCleary and Tyffani McCleary, who won for double dutch single speed relay.

Elizabeth Diamond and Elizabeth Egan of Thunderhill Elementary School, Mary Allison Pittman of St. Louis Catholic School and T. J. Simons, who won for the double dutch pairs relay.

Other winners included Marie Lopez of Harper's Choice Middle School, Dolores Gordon of Howard High School and Paige Burton of Hammond High School.

Hugh Forton, a member of the board of directors for Kangaroo Kids, said he is proud of the group. "What's really neat about the team is it's a nonprofit organization," Forton said.

"We raise our own money for our trips, we have no corporate sponsors -- at least not yet."

James McCleary, the team's coach, is the physical education teacher at Bollman Bridge Elementary School. Jean Hodges is also a coach.

Pub Date: 7/10/96

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