How Rocklin kids stack up

Ruhkala Elementary students set world record in cup-stacking competition
By: Lauren Weber, The Placer Herald
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Ruhkala Elementary students now carry the weight of what they hope will be a world record on their shoulders. Last Thursday, the approximately 350 students at Ruhkala in Rocklin took part in a world record setting event of sport stacking, along with almost 200,000 others across the world. The art of sport stacking takes coordination and quick hands as stackers up-stack and down-stack (or un-stack) pyramids with colored cups facing down. The cups are specially designed and approved by the World Sport Stacking Association. Equipped with Stack mats that time the stacking, students set out to beat their own records. One of Ruhkala’s fastest stackers according to physical education teacher Michelle Rabe, is second-grader Kailee Salmingo who used nine cups to create a stacking sequence of three, three-cup pyramids. Her record Thursday was just above four seconds for creating and unstacking her pyramids. “I just go really fast, as fast as I can,” she said. “I like being fast.” For some, like Salmingo, it was about the speed, but for others it was all about height. One group of students and teachers created a pyramid with a 17-cup height, reaching well above the students’ heads. But to be included in the world record, it wasn’t about speed or height, but about stacking consistently for 30 minutes. With music blasting and hundreds of students stacking in the school’s multi-purpose room, the excitement was obvious amid hundreds of stacking cups in a rainbow of colors. Third-graders Emily Weech and Mariah Avants said they like making stacks of the same colors and practice their skills in PE, at home and during recess. Fifth-grader Matthew Prescott has been into sport stacking for nearly five years, he said as he built two pyramids next to each other. “It’s fun and I like to beat my friends,” he said. As for becoming a world-record setter, Prescott thought it was quite the accomplishment. “It’s more than cool, it’s like my dream,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to make a record.” Prescott was one of 191,000 people, mostly kids, stacking cups that day, Rabe said. Kids from Argentina, Australia, Singapore, Germany, India, the U.S. and a handful of other countries, were among the participants, hoping to set a new Guinness World Record for the “most people sport stacking at multiple locations in one day,” according to the WSSA Web site. This year’s event was set to shatter last year’s record of 143,530 participants. This was Ruhkala Elementary students’ first attempt at the record, but they’re familiar with the sport. Rabe teaches sport stacking in her physical education class and said it helps with hand-eye coordination, using both sides of the brain and improves concentration. For many students the event was about having fun too. But for sixth-grader Eli Zeno, what was the best part of being part of a world record? “Just being a part of history,” he said. “I didn’t really expect it.”