Since she was a little girl at age 5, Tori Boggs has heard the ropes whizzing by her ears as it clicked the ground.

Time and again it clicked as she jumped for 25 world championships, clicked for wowed students on the campus of Ohio State University and cameos on ESPN, America’s Got Talent and even the Ellen DeGeneres show.

Saturday the 23-year-old jump-rope champion was bouncing without a rope inside Ohio State’s Recreation and Physical Activity Center while overseeing 90 competitors from around the country in the first ever University Jump Rope Summit.

“I can’t believe this, and every time I look around at all of the people here it makes me cry,” Boggs said. “We expected about 30 people and we have people from Duke, Stanford, Marshall and kids from around the state.”

Part of the summit included an open competition between a handful of colleges and youth jump rope teams. The competitors ranged in ages from under 10 all the way up to college seniors.

The focus was mostly speed, though there were creative events toward the end of the four-hour event.

Dylan Plummer, 19, of Cincinnati, also started jumping rope as a child. The Case Western Reserve University freshman has also been on TV showcasing his skills. He is also a world champion.

Saturday, he heard the crowd marveling as he jumped 100 times in 30 seconds.

For many younger groups, such as the Pop Rocks from Troy, the event was the first time competing at a sport. The group was formed in 2009 by teacher in Troy and the group travels around the state showcasing their talents.

The awards handed out were handmade by Boggs and the other 24 members of the Ohio State jump rope team. Boggs and her teammates applied for grant money from Ohio State and held fundraisers to buy banners and jump ropes for the event.

Boggs, 23, grew up in Parkersburg, West Virginia. From the moment she arrived at Ohio State nearly four years ago, the college senior made it her mission to expand the sport of jump roping.

She started a sanctioned team on campus and contacted other colleges around the country to start their own. Now, there are about five sanctioned programs at universities across the country.

“The goal is to get into the Olympics,” Boggs said. “To do that you have to get into the college level and we are doing that.”

Kassidy D’Annolfo, a sophomore from Medina in northeast Ohio, has replaced Boggs as president of Ohio State’s jump rope team. She said Saturday’s event was made possible mostly by Boggs’ desire to expand the popularity of the sport.

“She’s amazing and she cares about everyone here,” D’Annolfo said. “This was all her.”

Boggs is getting her degree this spring in industrial design. She hopes to get into medical school at Ohio State and continue being part of the jump rope team.

“I know there will be a time I can’t do this or be part of this anymore,” she said. “I don’t know what will happen but hopefully down the road this will just get bigger and bigger.”

 

lsullivan@dispatch.com

@DispatchSully