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Falcon teen set for national jump rope competition

Lindsey Wheeldon, a 16-year-old sophomore at Falcon High School, will skip to the beat of a dedicated athlete when she participates in the 2006 World Jump Rope Championships in Toronto, Canada, in July.Wheeldon, who has been featured on ESPN, competed in Boulder last month against other jump-rope enthusiasts from across the country for a chance to participate in the Toronto international championships.She is a member of the Jumping Eagles of Littleton, Colo. Eight “jumping eagles” were chosen to compete in the world championships. They will compete in teams of four, and Wheeldon will take part in the pairs’ freestyle and an event she referred to as “speed” – a term for endurance in jumping rope. It’s her first year in the world championships, and she’ll be jumping for joy and a win when she meets up with participants from places like Japan, China, Iran, Australia, Brazil and the United Kingdom.”Jump roping is my passion, and I spend many hours every week doing it,” Wheeldon said. “It hasn’t gotten old even after eight years. There is so much more you can learn – endless possibilities.”According to Wikipedia, an online resource and dictionary, “Many believe jump rope to be a simple, fun activity; many do not consider it a sport. But this is faulty reasoning. Jump rope athletes train rigorously year-round and are in the best shape of any athletes their age. Jump roping takes immense strength, endurance, focus and patience and is no longer a simple game of chanting rhymes: It is an intense sport.”Wheeldon is an intense athlete. She trains two to three times a day alternating running weight training, Pilates and yoga and then concentrating on jump roping.”It takes dedication,” she said. “You can be good, but you have to be consistent.”Although Wheeldon seriously competes, she said jump roping is fun, too. And being a consistent exercise hound sets a good example for kids, she said, adding that “if someone wanted to learn about jump rope, I would do private lessons.”She said she’s nervous about the championships, which begin July 19. “I write about it when I have a writing assignment, and I train hard every day,” Wheeldon said. “I’ll just do the best I can.”Wheeldon’s mom, Lorraina Wheeldon, will accompany her to Toronto to help calm those nerves. And dad Dennis and brother Eric will be rooting for her from their home in Woodmen Hills.Mom’s pretty confident because, as she said, “They only pick the top ones.”Lindsey: Good luck from all of us in Falcon and the eastern plains.

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