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Bainbridge trio takes second at Grand National Championships
Three jumpers from Bainbridge Island dazzled with their freestyle Double Dutch routine to bring home the silver from the USA Jump Rope Grand National Championships.
Jessica Fay, Hannah Sprague and Anna Warga of the Bainbridge Island Rope Skippers won second place in the Double Dutch Single Freestyle event.
The big win marked the third year in a row that Warga and Sprague have placed second at Grand Nationals in the event.
The Bainbridge Island Rope Skippers took 19 jumpers to the USA Jump Rope National Competition, a four-day tournament that was held in Long Beach, Calif. June 20-23, and the team returned with multiple ribbons and awards.
Jumpers from Bainbridge placed in the top 10 in eight of the 10 events at Nationals. The Bainbridge team competed against jumpers from 57 teams across the nation. A total of 650 athletes from 27 different states competed against others in their age category in speed and freestyle events.
Bainbridge Coach Julie Ahrnes said she was impressed with her team’s showing.
“It’s always lots of ups and downs because you’re at a national competition, with thousands of people watching,” she said.
The team’s youngest jumpers looked like seasoned veterans.
“They were really well-prepared,” Ahrens said.
“I didn’t expect they would place above 20th in anything, because it’s their first year,” the coach added.
Instead, they easily cracked the top five.
“To even place is amazing, and to get fourth place is incredible,” Ahrnes said.
The tournament culminated on Sunday,
June 23, with Grand Nationals, where the top eight scorers (out of all the age categories combined) earned the chance to compete “on stage” with their routines choreographed to music. Competitors performed in front of thousands of spectators, hoping to become the next Grand National champion.
Three groups from Bainbridge, including the pairs freestyle teams of Hannah Sprague and Anna Warga; Jessica Fay and Molly Harrison; along with the Double Dutch freestyle team of Sprague, Warga and Fay, earned the honor to perform their routines to the cheering crowd.
A panel of judges scored them on difficulty, required elements and presentation and creativity.
Sprague, Fay and Warga put on a near-perfect Double Dutch routine, which earned them the silver plaque and the runner-up spot to the Grand National champions in Double Dutch single freestyle.
During the age division competitions in the days prior to Grand Nationals, the younger and newer jumpers on the Bainbridge team put two “no-miss” Double Dutch freestyle routines on the floor in competition in the 11- to 12- year-old age category.
The team of Claire Dumouchel, Paige Bouma, and Sophia Debellis earned fourth-place ribbons in the Double Dutch single freestyle event, while the team of Dumouchel, Bouma, Debellis and Marina Correa also earned fourth-place ribbons in the Double Dutch pairs freestyle event.
Both teams also placed fifth and fourth, respectively, in Double Dutch speed relay and Double Dutch pairs speed.
During the age division championships, the Bainbridge team earned three awards for their pairs freestyle routines, an event where Bainbridge has found much success. Last year, Molly Harrison and Emily Applewhite won the Grand National Championship in the event, while Abigail Harrison and Sarah Sharman won the gold medal at the World Jump Rope Championships.
At last weekend’s tourney, Harrison and Fay earned the bronze medal for their routine in the 18- to 22-year-old age category, while Warga and Sprague won fifth place.
In the 15- to 17-year-old category, Abigail Harrison and Sarah Sharman earned seventh-place ribbons.
Sharman also brought home the only Bainbridge ribbon in singles freestyle for her ninth-place routine.
A new speed event was added to the tournament this year, a 30-second “sprint” speed event. In the 11-12 age category, Claire Dumouchel of Bainbridge Island earned a fifth-place ribbon.
Abigail Harrison was the other single rope speed award-winner for Bainbridge. She was sixth in 1-minute speed in the 15-17 age category with a score of 314 jumps.
“We had some surprises this year. Overall, it was really great. And exhausting,” Coach Ahrens said.
30-Second Single Rope Speed
11-12 years: Fifth place, Claire Dumouchel
1-Minute Single Rope Speed
15-17 years: Sixth place, Abigail Harrison
Double Dutch Speed Relay (3x40)
11-12 years: Fifth place, Paige Bouma, Claire Dumouchel, Sophia Debellis
Double Dutch Pairs Speed (2x60)
11-12 years: Fourth place, Sophia Debellis, Paige Bouma, Claire Dumouchel, Marina Correa
Single Rope Freestyle
15-17 years: Ninth place, Sarah Sharman
Single Rope Pairs Freestyle
15-17 years: Seventh place, Abigail Harrison, Sarah Sharman
18-22 years: Third place, Molly Harrison, Jessica Fay
Fifth place, Hannah Sprague, Anna Warga
Double Dutch Single Freestyle
11-12 years: Fourth place, Sophia Debellis, Paige Bouma, Claire Dumouchel
18-22 years: Fourth place, Jessica Fay, Hannah Sprague, Anna Warga
Double Dutch Pairs Freestyle
11-12 years: Fourth place, Claire Dumouchel, Marina Correa, Paige Bouma, Sophia Debellis
18-22 years: Seventh place, Sarah Sharman, Abigail Harrison, Hannah Sprague, Jessica Fay
Double Dutch Single Freestyle
Second place, Jessica Fay, Hannah Sprague, Anna Warga