Hop Stuff

Sixteen years ago, Ute Meadows Elementary School teacher E.J. Boillot began coaching the Jumping Eagles, a jump-rope team named after the mascot at Ute Meadows, in southwestern Jefferson County. Since then, jumping rope has gone from being a casual recreational activity to a highly competitive sport, and the Eagles, who perform today, are regarded as an international powerhouse. They finished strong at world championships in Australia and Toronto in recent years, and at the 2007 nationals in Orlando, Boillot notes, "we probably had our best year ever — 24 top-ten finishes and eleven medalists."

The group's routines go far beyond double-dutch. Squad members, who range in age from six to sixteen, perform crazy stunts in various configurations, displaying great speed and jaw-slackening gymnastic skills as they launch themselves over, under or through ropes that whip about like severed power lines in a windstorm. No wonder they jump so fast.

The Jumping Eagles take flight at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon at the Market at Belmar, located at the intersection of West Alaska Drive and South Teller Street. Admission is free, and other activities include cooking demonstrations and a fruit-and-vegetable market. For more information, dial 303-742-1520 or go to www.belmarcolorado.com.
Sun., Sept. 9, 10 a.m.