Monday, August 27, 2001

Teen breaks jump-rope marks

By Rebecca Billman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A North Avondale teen broke two world rope-skipping records last month.

        Marcus Taylor, 15, jumped 436 times in three minutes and did 170 triple-unders, passing the rope three rotations for each jump, at the Pan American Grand Masters Championships in Greely, Col. The records were 430 and 166.

        He won two trophies at the National Jump Rope competition at Disney World in June after snagging four gold medals at the regional championship in Indianapolis.

        The Shroder Paideia High School freshman already had broken nation al records when he traveled to Colorado. His performance there earned him a spot as one of the top five male jumpers on the United States Jump Rope Team.

        A member of the Cincinnati Ropin' Rockets demonstration team at North Avondale Elementary, Marcus started jumping rope in the first grade. He quickly caught on to “tricks,” he said, but didn't stick with it. In the fourth grade he began jumping again and after the Ropin' Rockets performed at his school, he decided to try out for the team.

        Four years later he is wowing judges with his speed and creative routines.

        “He's a very hard worker,” said his coach, Chris Emerson. “And he doesn't mind sweating a little bit.

        “He also works well under pressure. When he's competing he's just awesome.”

        The United States Jump Rope Team is set to go to Seoul, South Korea, in October to enter the world competition. Marcus dreams of winning. “I hope I'll do as well as I did in Colorado and they'll pick me” to join an international rope-jumping team, he said.

        But he has to get there first. The trip will cost $4,000, three-quarters of which is in the bank. The team has raised some of it by performing around town and passing the hat.

        Donations can be made to The Ropin' Rockets, c/o Chris Emerson, 615 Clinton Springs, OH 45229.


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