A group of area kids proved they are among the best in the world at their sport when they traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, last month to compete in the Junior Olympic Games.
The Cowtown Stackers, a sport stacking club that meets in the Villages of Woodland Springs, sent eight competitors to the contest; many of them came home with medals, one even earned a world record.
Sport stacking is racing the clock to quickly build and collapse pyramids into different combinations of uniform plastic cups. The most popular events are the 3-3-3, which is stacking nine cups into three pyramids; the 3-6-3, stacking 12 cups into two pyramids of three cups flanking one pyramid of six cups; and the cycle, with a 3-6-3 stack, a 6-6 stack, and a 1-10-1 stack. In all the events, cups must be collapsed into three neat stacks at the end.
Trey Griffith, 11, is a fifth-grader at Timberview Middle School, was a veteran cup stacker with a number of Texas records for his age group when he was called up early in the summer to be part of Team U.S.A. at the Junior Olympic Games.
“It was a dream come true for Trey,” said mom Carmen Griffith.
Trey, who has a high-functioning form of autism, has been speed stacking cups for more than three years. For the last two years, he’s made it his goal to get on Team USA. At the Junior Olympics, he teamed up with Andrew Dale, a stacker from Maryland, and the pair set a new world record for 10 and under doubles. In doubles, a pair completes the cycle with one person using only his left hand and the other person only his right.
“The whole crowd just went nuts when they set the world record,” Carmen Griffith said.
Trey wasn’t the only area kid to stack with success on a big stage. When the sport stacking season ended at Woodland Springs Elementary following the KISD tourney in March, many kids and their families wanted to keep competing.
Carmen Griffith coordinated the Cowtown Stackers team, asking KISD physical education teachers to send interested stackers their way and eventually securing a place to practice at the Villages of Woodland Springs Amenities Center. .
Eleven members qualified for the Junior Olympics by laying down smoking fast times at qualifying events, most of them at the World Sport Stacking Association’s Southern Regional Tournament in Mesquite in February. Eight of them traveled to Iowa for the Junior Olympic Games.
Miranda Marano, a fourth-grader from Ridgeview Elementary, said she enjoyed meeting members of Team USA and winning a bronze medal in the 3-6-3 event in the division for 9-year-old girls.
Luke Arthur, a fourth-grader at Woodland Springs, won a bronze medal in the 3-3-3 event in the 10-year-old boys division.
Garrett Clark, a Ridgeview Elementary third-grader who won several relay medals, said he collected autographs from Team USA members.
Trey’s favorite moment? “Getting a world record,” he said.