NEW YORK — The Bouncing Bulldogs recently earned two first-place awards while competing in the 22nd annual Double Dutch Holiday Classic at Harlem’s world-famous Apollo Theater.
Hosted Dec. 8 by New York’s National Double Dutch League, the Bouncing Bulldogs from Chapel Hill took home first place in the Classic Double Dutch Single Rope Speed and Compulsory Event and the Classic Double Dutch Pairs Speed and Compulsory Event.
Taking home first place in both events is the Bulldogs biggest win ever at the Double Dutch Holiday Classic , said team officials. They were competing against teams from Japan, France, New York and Georgia, all of whom were considred among the best jumpers in the world.
“This is a very special accomplishment for the Bouncing Bulldogs,” Coach Ray Fredrick said. “Teams from New York have completely dominated this competition for 22 years. The Double Dutch community is talking about how the team is now recognized as the fastest speed competitors at the Apollo.”
The Bouncing Bulldogs have been competing in the Annual Double Dutch Holiday Classic since 2004 and, until this year, had never taken home first place in speed events.
The two advanced speed events consist of jumpers in the 8th grade and above. Judges for both speed events count the number of times a competitor’s left foot hits the floor in the time alloted as the rope is turned by two other teammates.
Taking home first place in the Classic Double Dutch Single Rope Speed and Compulsory Event were Anna Reeb, Kenzie Ruston and Adam Weston.
“Being at the Apollo was an amazing experience,” said Weston, a sophomore at East Chapel Hill High School. “Being able to win a first and second place title for our team is a great honor and privilege. It not only helps our team grow, but also advances the sport of jump rope.”
First place in Classic Double Dutch Pairs Speed and Compulsory Event was earned by Ilana Fried, Andrew Mauch, Isabel Osborne and Austin von Alten.
“It was exciting to hear the Bulldogs be called to the stage to accept the first-place trophies,” said Fried, a Bulldog team captain who’s a junior at East Chapel Hill High junior. “It’s a great honor to represent our team at the Apollo in front of an international audience. We are grateful for the support from our coach, families, teammates and older jumpers who helped us all succeed at the Apollo.”
The Apollo Theater in Harlem has jumpstarted the careers of African-American musical legends such as Billie Holiday, the Jackson Five and Stevie Wonder. For 22 years the National Double Dutch League has hosted the Annual National Double Dutch Holiday Classic in this performing arts landmark.