THE PURUGGANANS’ SPORT STACKING EXPERIENCE:
The boys discovered sport stacking nearly 3 years ago, when Andrew happened to catch the 2006 WSSA World Championships being televised on ESPN in August 2006. Andrew was fascinated! He did us all a favor by taping the championships and sharing it with the rest of the family. When Brian and Steven watched what Andrew had recorded, they also thought it was unique, really cool, and immediately wanted to try it themselves with regular plastic cups at home. I can’t tell you how many times they had to rewind the tape and watch the championships over and over again just to learn how to stack. It was challenging, addicting and something they enjoyed doing together. The 3 boys were obviously having so much fun, either stacking alone, or competing against each other. Dan and I wanted to support this new-found passion 100%, so I bought them 1 set of cups as a “back-to-school present”. The boys were so excited to have the official cups and an instructional DVD that helped them fine-tune their self-taught technique. They could not get enough of stacking, so I had to go back to the store and get 2 more sets. From that point on, our house became very noisy! They spent several hours each day practicing, often working up a sweat, in an effort to beat their own times, or each others’.
After 6 months of intense practicing, they had trimmed down their cycle times from 40 seconds to under 10 seconds. Steven, in particular, was finishing the cycle under 8 seconds. Not only had they been practicing, but they had been watching the tape of the World Championships regularly. They became very familiar with the celebrities of the sport stacking world, watched and studied videos of stackers posted on You Tube, and became very well versed with the tournament rules and format. The question was: were they ready to put their skills to the test and compete under the pressure of a tournament? There was only one way to find out…and the very first competition that suited our schedule was the 2007 World Championships in Denver.
Their first tournament experience was very exciting. There is something to be said about competing alongside the best and most passionate stackers. It was thrilling, and humbling as well. Steven finished first in his (9-year old) age division for the 3-3-3 and 3-6-3, and (I think) 3rd in the cycle. And though his 3-3-3 time of 2.40 seconds earned his 6th place overall (among 1,100 stackers), he was a bit disappointed that he didn’t do as well in competition as he had been doing at home. The boys came home with a few medals and trophies, and a strong resolve to practice even harder.
Six months after the World Championships, the boys were ready to compete again. We will never forget this particular tournament: October 2007, at the New York State Championships. Steven broke the cycle world record with a time of 7.23 seconds, and Steven and Andrew broke the doubles world record with a time of 8.49 seconds! This would be the first of many more world records to come.
The boys have been competing steadily since then, about 4 tournaments a year. Because of their accomplishments at tournaments, all 3 boys are members of Team USA.
Andrew holds the division world record (age division 17) in the cycle with a time of 6.94 seconds. He placed 6th overall at the 2009 World Championships (just 5 places behind Steven). His relay team holds the (17-year old) USA division record with a time of 13.69 seconds.
Brian always finishes in the top 3 at state tournaments. Brian’s consistency in team relay events earned him 1 of the 10 coveted spots in the International Speedstacks Challenge at the 2008 World Championships. At this year’s World Championships, he placed 6th overall in the 3-3-3 (5 places behind Steven).
After Steven broke his very first world record, he has broken at least one world record at every single tournament he’s competed in. He’s broken the 3-3-3 world record 3 times, the 3-6-3 world record 5 times, the cycle world 6 times, the doubles world record 3 times (with Andrew), and finally, his Team USA team broke the team relay world record – all of which were achieved in a 2-year span (see below):
Steven’s Sport Stacking World Records
1. Cycle Event – Individual
– 5.93 seconds, Jan 3, 2009, Greater Cleveland Sport Stacking Championships, Berea, Ohio (CURRENT WORLD RECORD)
– 6.21 seconds, Apr 6, 2008, Stack-Off, World Championships, Denver, Colorado
– 6.50 seconds, Apr 6, 2008, World Championships, Denver, Colorado
– 6.52 seconds, Mar 16, 2008, New Jersey Stackapalooza, Ridgewood, New Jersey
– 6.65 seconds, Feb 16, 2008, Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, Laurel, Delaware
– 7.23 seconds, Oct 20, 2007, New York State Championships, Attica, New York
2. 3-6-3 Event – Individual
– 2.15 seconds, Apr 19, 2009, Denver, Colorado (CURRENT WORLD RECORD)
– 2.19 seconds, Nov 22, 2008, Philly Red Sport Stacking Championships, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
– 2.27 seconds, Jan 10, 2009, Connecticut Sport Stacking Championships, Baltic, CT
– 2.34 seconds, Mar 16, 2008, New Jersey Stackapalooza, Ridgewood, New Jersey
– 2.38 seconds, Feb 16, 2008, Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, Laurel, Delaware
3. 3-3-3 Event – Individual
– 1.80 seconds, Jan 24, 2009, Mid-Atlantic Regional Sport Stacking Championships, Laurel, Delaware (CURRENT WORLD RECORD)
– 1.86 seconds, Apr 6, 2008, WSSA World Championships, Denver, Colorado
– 1.96 seconds, Feb 16, 2008, Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, Laurel, Delaware
4. Doubles Event
– 7.58 seconds, with brother Andrew, Apr 19, 2009, WSSA World Championships, Denver, Colorado (CURRENT WORLD RECORD)
– 7.84 seconds, with brother Andrew, Feb 16, 2008, Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, Laurel, Delaware
– 8.49 seconds, with brother Andrew, Oct 20, 2007, New York State Championships, Attica, New York
5. Team Relay Event
– 12.72 seconds, with TEAM USA, Apr 19, 2009, WSSA World Championships, Denver, Colorado (CURRENT WORLD RECORD)
Inasmuch as the goal is to stack faster and break more world records, the boys will always declare that the best part about this sport is the camaraderie they share when they all come together with fellow stackers at tournaments, especially at the World Championships. They love stacking even more when they’re surrounded by other kids who appreciate the skill involved in stacking, and the fun that comes along with it. And from that common experience, they’ve made so many new friends not only in the US, but from other countries as well.