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Cup stacking athlete headed to Junior Olympics

-  Joey Cooksey, 15, practices her sport two hours a day and dreams of joining the national team


by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Joey Cooksey, 15, a sophomore at Barlow High School, demonstrates her cup stacking skills. This summer, she will compete in Des Moines, Iowa, at the Junior Olympics.

Part artistic, part athletic, cup stacking is a mesmerizing sport to behold.

And East County has an aspiring cup stacking athlete right in its own backyard.

Barlow High School’s Joey Cooksey, a 15-year-old sophomore, has done so well in the sport that she’s competing in the Junior Olympic Games Sport Stacking in Des Moines, Iowa, in August through the World Sport Stacking Association.

Cooksey recently placed at the Northwest Regional Sport Stacking Championships in Tacoma, Wash. She now has earned six medals and a trophy for her dedication, setting a record in her age division for the 3-3-3 and 3-6-3 events.

An individual and team sport, cup stacking involves stacking specialized plastic cups in sequences in as little time as possible. Athletes either compete with each other or against a timer, piecing together sequences of three, six or 10 cups in pyramids.

Cooksey originally got into the sport after watching YouTube clips and trying the sport with plastic cups her freshman year. Her family bought her official cup stacking gear for Christmas in 2012, and she was hooked.

Practicing two hours a day at a table set up in her room, Cooksey said her sport has helped with her dexterity as a percussionist in the school band, with writing and with finding patterns in math problems.

She eventually hopes to get on Team USA for cupstacking and travel the world for her sport. Cooksey has established a fundraising page to help her get to the Junior Olympics this summer.

To contribute to her tournament costs, visit funds.gofundme.com and search “help get Joey to stacking tournaments.”

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Cooksey has earned six medals and a trophy in her sport.



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