Jumping across the world


Contributed by Lilith Schultheis

Senior Lilith Schultheis performs a single rope routine on Aug. 6, 2017 in the German Championship. This same day, she broke the speed jump record.

Savannah Doane, Reporter

Senior Lilith Schultheis came over to America last summer from her hometown in Hanau, Germany with the intention to learn and become fluent in English. However, Schultheis could’ve chosen any of the 35 countries where English in the primary language to move to in order to do this, but she wanted to bring her passion here to America.

“The reason why I didn’t go to Australia or Great Britain or something was because of jump rope, mainly because America has a lot of jump rope teams and so I thought that the chance that I could actually do jump rope was going to be higher if I came to America,” Schultheis said.

Schultheis is a part of a competitive jump rope team called The Indy Air Bears. She first started jump roping on a competitive team in Germany when she was seven years old, but she has now come to America to compete in steeper competitions.

According to Schultheis, her team participates in different routines which vary from single rope, pair, full person and routines where every member has to jump at the same time. Schultheis says that jump rope competitions relate a lot to gymnastic competitions because of the way they are performed and judged.

“We have a bunch of different ones (routines),” Schultheis said. “We have double dutch. We have single rope. We have speed events where you have to jump as fast as you can and they (the judges) count you. Everything else is about creativity and difficulty.”

Speed events are Schultheis’ forte and she holds the German female record for the 30 second speed jump to prove it with a score of 101. In order to maximize the number of jumps possible, jumpers in speed events jump over the rope by alternating very quickly from their right to their left foot, so it looks as if they are running in place while the rope is moving rapidly under their feet.

This rate of speed makes it nearly impossible for judges to count every single jump, so jumpers are given a score based on the number of times their right foot touches the floor. So while Schultheis’ national record is 101, she actually jumped over the rope 202 times in the 30 seconds she was given. This means that she was jumping over the rope a little over six times per second.

Schultheis’ host mother, Clara Crosby, says that jump roping is wonderful and that she thinks Schultheis has brought a unique cultural aspect to the Indy Air Bears because she’s from a different country.

“It’s an awesome sport,” Crosby said. “It’s an awesome experience. I think Lilith has really brought to the Indy Air Bears, a lot, because she is coming from another country, so they get to share differences and different ways of how they do things.”

Crosby says that she has been familiar with the sport of jump roping, as well as the Indy Air Bears for about 15 years. One of Crosby’s friends is the coach of the team and her granddaughter, Ella Beck, is on the team as well. Crosby says that Schultheis and Beck are friends, because they are practically cousins now, but that all the other members on the team have good relationships.

Aside from jump rope, Schultheis has brought a lot to the Crosby’s being an exchange student. Crosby said that she feels as if being a host parent is a way of “leaving your little mark on the world.” Crosby also says that she feels as if students at SHS have benefitted from Schultheis coming to the United States as well.

“It’s just a great experience for the host family here in the U.S., and I think people at Southport have benefitted from knowing Lilith,” Crosby said.

Schultheis hasn’t competed in the United States yet, but she and her team are training to compete in Indy Open in March and Ohio Open in April. She is also planning on competing in World Jump Rope for the United States in July.