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E.V. Cain students jump at chance to break world record

By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal staff writer
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E.V. Cain Middle School students tried Monday to rope themselves a spot in Guinness Book of World Records. The school’s blacktop was packed with more than 700 students hopping, skipping and jumping, ropes in hand, as part of a statewide effort headed up by the California Association for the Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance to break the world record for “most people jumping/skipping rope at the same time.” “We’re jumping to get in the record book,” explained sixth-grader Kylie Vieira. “And we’re trying to beat Australia,” added Madison Nunez, friend and fellow sixth-grader. The goal of Jamba Jump Day, coordinated in partnership with the American Heart Association and the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, was to break the current record of 59,000 participants, a record held by Australia. CAHPERD’s goal was to rope in at least 80,000 jumpers, to commemorate their 80th anniversary. In order to help break the record, students at E.V. Cain, as well as kids and adults participating at some 2,000 sites across the state, had to jump rope for 10 minutes from 9 a.m. to 9:10 a.m. Monday. Students didn’t just jump into this unprepared — they’ve been participating in and documenting their progress in the Governor’s Challenge, engaging in 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each week outside of school. Each student also pledged at least $1 to the American Heart Association, said Therese Stack, PE department chair and E.V. Cain’s Jamba Jump Day coordinator. Many of the students opted to warm up before the official jumping began. They also shared their strategies. “I’m going to try not to stop jumping for the whole 10 minutes,” said sixth-grader Cody Culwell. Sixth-grader Adrian Solorio said he’d take it easy. “I’m going to try and go slow to save my energy,” he said. Sixth-grader Zoe Keck had a similar strategy. “I’m going to jump rope like I’m running or walking,” she said. At 9 a.m. on the dot, Auburn Mayor Bridget Powers gave students the go-ahead to start jumping. Some students jumped, some skipped and some got tangled in their ropes. Judges — volunteers from the community — kept an eye on everyone, as jumpers were only allowed to stop for 10 seconds before being disqualified. “I think it’s cute,” said Brigitte Creencia, a Placer High senior and one of a couple dozen Placer High leadership students acting as judges. “It just looks like a fun activity. I was actually participating — I used to love jump roping.” Stack said she’s pretty pumped about how the school-wide jump went. “I think it was awesome,” she said. “(Students) said it was so much fun, they enjoyed it.” Randy Ittner, E.V. Cain principal, shared a similar thought. “I think they can be proud of themselves, knowing they tried to break a world record,” he said. Stack said the next step is to submit a list of the participants, signed by the judges who watched the students, and donations to event organizers. Final results are to be announced at the CAHPERD 2010 State Conference in March. Reach Loryll Nicolaisen at lorylln@goldcountrymedia.com.