By Sam Jack
Luci Swart, who recently finished second grade at Freeman Elementary, competed in the Central Regional Sport Stacking Championships last month.
She came home with five medals, including two second-place finishes. That performance qualified Luci to compete at a national event, though she is not planning to attend.
Sport stacking, also known as cup stacking, is a sport that challenges participants to stack nine or 12 cups in pre-determined patterns, as fast as possible.
“If you’re left-handed, you start on the right, or if you’re right-handed, you start on the left,” Luci said. “Then you just go. … I usually do it by memory; I could close my eyes and do it and not think about it.”
Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the June 14 print edition of the Haysville Sun-Times. To see stories like this first, and to get all your community news, subscribe today. Call 316-540-0500 to get next week’s Sun-Times delivered to your home.
The 12-cup “full cycle” includes building a tower of six cups and two towers of three cups; then two towers of six cups; and finally, one tower of 10 cups.
Luci’s best time to complete all that construction and deconstruction is 16.1 seconds – certainly the fastest at Freeman, and probably the fastest in Haysville.
In addition to the individual sport stacking events, Luci has competed in relay race events, and in a doubles event where two competitors team up, each of them using one hand.
Luci first encountered sport stacking at school. Physical education teacher George Kelley offered units focusing on the sport starting in her kindergarten year.
“When I first did it at school, I wasn’t that fast. But then when I got older, I started getting faster, until I was as fast as everybody else, and then I started beating everybody,” Swart said.
Her father, Pete Swart, said that sport stacking is one of the first activities that really hooked Luci, motivating her to practice and compete.
“We ordered her a first set of cups, not knowing there was an official set, then got to the competition, and found out that those weren’t the right cups,” he said. “There were official cups she wasn’t using. I think she did pretty good, competing with a set of cups that she wasn’t used to.”
Luci wants to keep competing in sport stacking competitions, and perhaps join the Kansas state team. To view a video of Luci in action, visit the Haysville Sun-Times Facebook page.