Nimble-footed District youngsters from H.D. Cooke Elementary School and other city schools had reason to celebrate in June when they walked off with some of the top honors at the 14th annual Double Dutch World Invitational jump rope tournament.
For the first time in the history of the contest, a District school, H.D. Cooke in Northwest, scored first place in the world meet with a performance by fifth graders at the school.
The Cooke students -- Shannel Battle, Danielle Brown and Theresa Atta -- took the top prize in the fifth grade singles division, an event with one jumper and two rope turners. They were awarded championship satin jackets and trophies.
Double Dutch is a lightning-quick sport that pits one or two jumpers against two ropes turning simultaneously in egg-beater fashion.
Elimination rounds for this year's contest were held June 19 at the University of Maryland and featured about 165 teams from the United States and three other countries. By the next day's finals, which were held at George Washington University's Smith Center gym, only 50 teams, including nine from the Washington area, were left.
Another District school winner was Shaw Junior High, which took third place in the seventh grade singles division and fourth place in the open doubles division for grades nine through 12. The doubles division is an event with two jumpers and two rope turners.
Other District school winners included Blow Elementary School, third place in the fifth-grade doubles contest, and Lincoln Junior High, fourth place in the seventh grade doubles division. H.D. Cooke students also won second place in the sixth grade singles division and second place in fifth and sixth grade doubles. The local Double Dutch competition is sponsored by the D.C. Metropolitan Police and several corporations.