Sports

Bainbridge pair bring home Grand National championship title

Emily Applewhite and Molly Harrison perform their first-place winning routine at the USA Jump Rope National Championships.  - Photo courtesy of Pam Sharman
Emily Applewhite and Molly Harrison perform their first-place winning routine at the USA Jump Rope National Championships.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Pam Sharman

Molly Harrison and Emily Applewhite earned the coveted crown of Grand National Champions at the USA Jump Rope National Championships after finishing a near flawless, synchronized pairs freestyle routine to win the Grand National trophy.

Harrison and Applewhite, who graduated this year from Bainbridge High School, won the first USA Jump Rope Grand National trophy for the Bainbridge Island Rope Skippers since Nationals began in 1996.

The Bainbridge team, coached by Julie Leachman, took 15 members to Long Beach, Calif. competed in Nationals against more than 700 jumpers from 57 teams from across the nation.

The USA Jump Rope National Championships were held June 21-24 at the Long Beach Convention Center, and the competition covered speed and freestyle jump rope events.

Harrison and Applewhite weren’t the only ones from the Bainbridge team that excelled during the championships. The Rope Skippers had many top 10 finishers and medal winners during the three-day tournament.

In the 18 and over age category, the four-person Double Dutch team of Harrison, Sarah Sharman, Abigail Harrison and Applewhite won the silver medal for their freestyle routine, while the three-person Double Dutch trio of Kelsey Gonwick, Jessica Fay, and Sarah Sharman won the bronze medal for their freestyle performance.

“They are the most driven, amazing kids,” coach Leachman said of her team.

“They make it look so easy, but every turn of the rope is hours of practice,” she said.

The medal winners and other top 10 finishers in all age categories combined earned the honor of competing on stage to music during the final and fourth day of competition, known as “Grand Nationals.”

Grand Nationals showcases the top finishers from all age categories, as they compete to be the next Grand National champion.

The coach praised the dedication of Applewhite and Harrison, and said the pair set the tone for the team.

“Those two girls deserved it. They worked so hard,” Leachman said.

Beyond the success of Applewhite and Harrison in Grand Nationals, the three-person Double Dutch team of Anna Warga, Hannah Sprague and Abigail Harrison performed a perfect “no miss” freestyle routine on stage, earning them the second-place silver plaque at Grand Nationals for the second year in a row.

The four-person Double Dutch team of sisters Abigail and Molly Harrison, Emily Applewhite and Sarah Sharman won the third-place bronze plaque for their freestyle performance at Grand Nationals.

At the end of the awards ceremony after the Grand Nationals competition, it was announced that Emily Applewhite was awarded the Tania Terpylak Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship recognizes one USA Jump Rope graduating senior who has strong leadership skills, a strong character and a joy for life. Applewhite will be applying this scholarship toward her college education at Occidental College in southern California.

NATIONALS RESULTS

Speed Results:

Male 1 Minute Single Rope Speed

Age 30-49    Fourth place: Scott Harrison

Male 3 Minute Single Rope Speed

Age 30-49    Fifth place: Scott Harrison

Double Dutch Speed Relay

Age 15-17    Fifth place: Jessica Fay, Sarah Sharman, Abigail Harrison

Freestyle Results:

Female Single Rope Freestyle

Age 15-17    Ninth place: Sarah Sharman

Single Rope Pairs Freestyle

12 and under Ninth place: Serena Johnson, Claire Dumouchel

Age 15-17    Ninth place: Emily McGarvey, Matthew Midgett

18 and over Fourth place: Molly Harrison, Emily Applewhite

Ninth place: Jessica Fay, Kelsey Gonwick

Female Double Dutch Single Freestyle

Age 15-17   Seventh place: Hannah Sprague, Abigail Harrison, Anna Warga

18 and over Third place: Jessica Fay, Sarah Sharman, Kelsey Gonwick

Seventh place: Ally Clement, Emily Applewhite, Molly Harrison

Female Double Dutch Pairs Freestyle

18 and over Second place: Emily Applewhite, Molly Harrison, Abigail Harrison, Sarah Sharman

Sixth place: Anna Warga, Hannah Sprague, Jessica Fay, Kelsey Gonwick

GRAND NATIONALS RESULTS

Freestyle Results:

Female Single Rope Pairs Freestyle

First place: Emily Applewhite, Molly Harrison

Female Double Dutch Single Freestyle

Second place: Anna Warga, Hannah Sprague, Abigail Harrison

Female Double Dutch Pairs Freestyle

Third place: Molly Harrison, Emily Applewhite, Sarah Sharman, Abigail Harrison

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