SMS helps set new sport stacking record

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(Curtis Clegg - cclegg@shawmedia.com)
Curtis Clegg - cclegg@shawmedia.com Eighth grader Cameron Smith practices stacking cups at Sycamore Middle School in Sycamore, Ill. on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.
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(Curtis Clegg - cclegg@shawmedia.com)
Jeff Ward, 13, left, demonstrates the sport of speed stacking in the cafeteria at Sycamore Middle School in Sycamore, Ill. on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.
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(Curtis Clegg - cclegg@shawmedia.com)
Elliott Marsh, left, competes against a blindfolded Jeff Ward, 13, at Sycamore Middle School in Sycamore, Ill. on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.
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(Curtis Clegg - cclegg@shawmedia.com)
Sycamore Middle School eighth graders, clockwise from left, Cameron Smith, Andrew Brady, Maylissa Nalley, Jessica Comstock, and Brooke Stover practice speed stacking cups at Sycamore Middle School in Sycamore, Ill. on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.
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(Curtis Clegg - cclegg@shawmedia.com)
Eighth grader Michael Castritsis practices speed stacking cups at Sycamore Middle School in Sycamore, Ill. on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.
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(Curtis Clegg - cclegg@shawmedia.com)
Eighth grader Jared Bunge practices stacking giant cups at Sycamore Middle School in Sycamore, Ill. on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.

SYCAMORE – The students of Sycamore Middle School were part of a worldwide event to break a world record last Thursday.

The school participated in the eighth annual “Most People Sport Stacking at Multiple Locations in One Day” attempt to break the 2012 world record of 483,658 participants.

“We are going to be stacking all day long,” said physical education teacher Pam Nelson.

On Monday morning, the World Sport Stacking Association announced that the worldwide event broke the 2012 record, with 489,057 verified participants. Participants were still being tallied and verified.

Sycamore eighth-grader Jeff Ward, 13, was the driving force behind getting the school to embrace sport stacking, the stacking of plastic cups in prescribed patterns. He has been sport stacking for three years and is currently ranked No. 2 in the state in all age groups.

“My brother and I saw it on YouTube and I just wanted to do it,” Jeff said. He practices stacking for 30 to 45 minutes every day. Sport stackers take groups of nine, 12, or 33 specialized cups, stack them into pyramids and un-stack them as quickly as possible.

The sport is inexpensive and beneficial in developing hand-eye coordination. Nelson said it deals with “bilateral proficiency,” or developing equal proficiency on both sides of the body.

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