Friday, May 29, 2009

The sport of jump rope may become a summer Olympic competition.

Returning to the area after hosting jump rope technique workshops and demonstrations last year, Molly Mertz, coach and champion, brought another top jump rope team to Fruita. 
Shelledy and Rim Rock Elementary students fell in love with the team of guys, ages around 10 to 17 last year. Showing that the sport is for both guys and gals. This year's team was composed of gals, ages around 8 to 18.
Molly Mertz is dedicated to her sport.
Starting to do jump rope at the age of seven, with the "Skippets," she hasn't stopped. With five National Championship titles to her credit, Mertz knows the benefits of this sport.
1. It keeps you in great shape.
2. The equipment is simple, a five dollar jump rope and a decent pair of shoes.
3. You can practice anywhere, inside or out, no matter the climate or weather.
4. As a sport, there are opportunities to compete all over the world.
Now, at age 33, Metz is busy as she trains teams, starts the sport in as many locations as she can, and works towards getting the sport on the Olympic venue.
Metz's passion is jump rope as a sport.
During the program given for the public Friday evening, May 29, at the Fruita Civic Center, it was evident that there is interest. Several youngsters from the audience were given the chance to join in on double Dutch. Three of the photos show a boy and two girls as they debuted. Many signed up for the Saturday workshop.
As a tie to Fruita, Bailey Dodd, now age 13. Several years ago a team was started at her elementary school. She didn't make the cut, but, since she really was impressed with what she had seen the jump rope team do, she practiced on her own and made the team the following year.  Her grand parents Tom and Kelly Dodd, of Fruita, are very proud of her. When visiting her grandparents and participating in Fruita's Art Camp for several summers, Bailey has Fruita friends.  
DonnaKeffeler, Coors Rodeo event coordinator, was watching as her daughter, Monique Antunovich  preform with the team. 
"I am thrilled with this team," she said. "Monique loves it. Molly is just such an inspiration for her teams. There is always something new to learn and do."
Dave Prenni who visits the Valley when his firm does construction, was watching his daughters, Ryan, age 18 and Lauren, age 16.
"Ryann was 6 when she started and Lauren was 7," he said. "This was the best thing ever. The two love to compete. They love the sport. They have been so busy and engaged in the
sport that they haven't had time to get in trouble. Their grades have always been at the top. Ryann will be attending CSU to study environmental engineering in the fall. 
Prenni proudly talked about the fact that Lauren had placed 4th in Nationals held in Canada a week ago. She had to adjust to several different rules for technique in only that week. She placed 1st in  Triple. Last year she also broke the record
for triple jumps with 149 in under a minute. That record was broken this year.
"The sport of jump rope is part of my daughters' life," he said.
Ryann and Lauren talked about the fact that both love to compete with each other.
"I got into jump rope  because of my sister,"Lauren said. "We can compete together. There are so many things to do. We love to compete with each other. It really keeps us in shape."
Texas will be the next site for the two as they compete in the U.S. Nationals. 
Saturday found the team giving a workshop for 40 some youth who want to master this art form at FMHS.
Hopefully we will see some of Molly Mertz's teams compete in the next summer Olympics. Good luck!

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