NEW LEXINGTON – A New Lexington fifth grader is quietly making a name for himself across the United States as one of the fastest speed stackers in the country. Speed stacking has become a national sport after hitting the southern California scene in the 1980’s.
Jameson Swick is the New Lexington student who has been bringing home first place finishes from competitions in Houston, Texas, and most recently St. Louis, Missouri. Jameson first saw speed stacking on YouTube during the pandemic when school was strictly an at-home online education. Now, he is the one on YouTube everyone else is watching.
“I wasn’t very good at first, but now it’s second nature,” says the young champion.
A Colorado physical education teacher is credited for bringing speed stacking into the public eye. Bob Fox began using speed stacking in his classes and eventually appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1990. From there he spread the speed stacking message to schools all over the country.
Fox stepped away from his 17-year teaching career to organize speed stacking competitions. From his efforts, the World Speed Stacking Association (WSSA) emerged as the governing body for speed stacking events.
COVID-19 reduced speed stacking competitions to virtual experiences during the pandemic, but an in-person event was finally scheduled for July 29-Aug. 2, 2021, in Houston, Texas. Jameson told his parents he wanted to go.
“At first we thought it was too far to go, but then we decided to make it a family fun kind of trip,” said Jameson’s mother, Devan. “We had no idea he was going to win.”
Jameson’s physical education teacher, Dani Lamonica, has allowed him to introduce the activity in her classes. Jameson’s classmates enjoy the activity while he demonstrates both skill and patience, Lamonica said.
“He never hesitates with a failure, he just stacks them up and goes again,” said his teacher. She believes that attitude is an extremely important lesson as students can learn as much from failure as they can success.
While there are several categories for speed stacker competitions, the foundation for every event is the 3-3-3 and the 3-6-3 challenge. The best way to understand speed stacking is to watch it on YouTube. The first time you attempt it yourself, understand that Jameson’s winning time in Houston for the 3-3-3 event was 1.721 seconds.
Jameson is calling this Part I of his story. Luckily, you will not have to wait a week for Part II because it is coming up next.
Fastest Stacker this side of St. Louis, Part 2
Brun and Devan Swick loaded the family car for the trip to St. Louis on Friday, Nov. 19 and headed for the 10th Annual Cornucopia Sport Stacking Tournament 2021. Seven hours later they arrived in St. Louis in time for Jameson to practice for two hours on the eve of the competition. The 10-year-old usually practices 30 minutes or more every day.
Friday night’s stacking practice paid huge Saturday dividends as Jameson collected four first-place gold medals and two second place silvers. Gold medals included first place in the 3-3-3, 3-63, doubles, and the team relay events. His second-place awards came in the Cycle and Child/Parent categories. He finished second in the 9-10 male bracket and fifth overall male for the tournament.
“The sportsmanship is really great at these contests,” Devan said. “People are cheering for each other even though they are competing in the same event.”
Jameson’s excitement from the successful tournament was still evident at school on Monday when he sat almost still for the Part 2 interview. He was already looking forward to his next tournament.
“It’s at Northridge,” explained Jameson of the Licking County location for his first in-state tournament. “It is an hour away and we won’t have to get a motel.” The closeness and easier expenses were also not lost on Devan Swick who realizes this event “will not put such a big squeeze on our finances.”
For her 10-year-old stacking phenom, the next tournament means more than medals. Jameson can’t wait to meet his fellow stackers in person instead of face timing on a laptop screen.
“I am very excited to go to Northridge because I will get to meet other stackers in person. I’m super excited!” Jameson said. He also confessed that Russo’s wood-fired pizza was nearly as important as the tournament itself. For his mother, the entire stacking experience with Jameson is fast approaching the surreal stage.
“Who would ever think Jameson would be the one to take our family all over the country?!?” expressed a shocked mother.
That shock best be lost soon because the tournament travel will increase once 2022 arrives. A tournament in Atlanta is scheduled in February. That will precede the World Championship set for Denver, Colorado in April.
Congratulations, Jameson, the championships you are winning now are only a preview of what you will accomplish in the future. I have a feeling if the WSSA ever holds an interplanetary tournament, you will already be there waiting for the second place hopefuls to arrive.
Submitted by New Lexington Schools.