Watch John Harden and his brother Will demonstrate competitive cup stacking. Click on link: http://studiostatesboro.statesboroherald.com/friday052209.html
Bulloch County may soon boast a new tourist attraction.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, just like the city of Atlanta has the world's largest aquarium (the Georgia Aquarium), Bulloch now has the world's fastest “Sport Cup Stacker.”
The performance by Bulloch Academy senior John Harden and his three teammates at the World Sport Cup Stacking International Challenge held in Denver earlier this year bested the existing record by .31 seconds, which is an eternity when it comes to the moving of a mountain of cups.
Harden, the son of Randy Harden and Anne Clay, has competed in fast-paced but little known sport for almost five years. It turns out he received a Christmas present of a Sport Stacking kit that he saw at Kmart, and has been working at perfecting his skills ever since.
For participants, sport stacking is a serious sport. Harden said that “These cups are perfectly balanced, with three holes in the bottom to let the air out when you stack them, and are very solid so they don't bend when you grab them.”
He continued, “I must have nearly 20 different sets of cups by now. They are for all different sorts of situations, with different ones for exhibitions and competitions.”
Asked if his mom asks him to load the dishwasher often, he replied “No!”
Young John has a number of siblings, including the youngest two, Allison and Will, who are both enrolled at Brooklet Elementary School, and the older three, Adam, Ashley, and Henry.
Harden, however, does more than practice stacking and unstacking cups.
He is a scholar athlete, playing the midfield position on BA's soccer team, and is the placekicker for the football team. He recently set a school record with a 48-yard field goal. He said he has a natural love of the sciences, especially chemistry, and said he may consider becoming an engineer.
The sport of “Speed Stacking”, as Harden calls it, was created in 1980 by a physical education teacher as a classroom exercise. It came to national attention when Johnny Carson had an exhibition of Speed Stacking performed on his “Tonight Show.” Entrepreneur Bob Fox saw the show, and formed a company, Speed Stacks, to market this sport. His company is located in Denver, which is why the world championships are held there every year.
There are currently 18 countries which come to Denver every year to compete for the title of Speed Stacking Champions. After being dominated by Germany for years, the United States claimed the title three years ago and has held it ever since. Harden’s three team members are Lawrence Maceren, Luke Myers and Steven Purugannen.
In order to gain the Guinness Book world record and the world championship, Harden’s team performed a four-man, 3/6/3 stacking relay. That meant, essentially, that each team member had to stack and unstack three piles of cups one after the other as fast as possible. Harden not only holds the Guinness record, but has amassed a large collection of individual trophies in the sport.