2014 AAU Joel Ferrell Award – Jump Rope
The AAU Joel Ferrell Award in the Jump Rope competition at the 2014 AAU Junior Olympic Games went to two athletes competing for Mad Hops, Becky Nelson and Tucker Van Leuwen-Hall!
This award is honoring Joel Ferrell, former AAU President and Vice President of the US Olympic Committee, who was also a chair of the AAU Junior Olympic Program for many years. Upon his death, the AAU and the Ferrell family implemented the AAU Joel Ferrell Outstanding Performance Memorial Award in his honor. This most prestigious award recognizes outstanding athletic accomplishments and sportsmanship of an athlete representing each official sport at the AAU Junior Olympic Games.
Becky Nelson, a 20 year old from Louisville, Colorado is also an Assistant Coach of Mad Hops, along with competing. She started jumping at the age of four and has competed in two world championships since then.
At the AAU Junior Olympic Games this year, Nelson and her partner, Emmalee Zion, took home two silver medals and a pair of bronze medals. Nelson and her Mad Hops team, including other 2014 AAU Joel Ferrell winner, Tucker Van Leuwen-Hall, grabbed five gold medals and a silver medal.
Nelson attends the University of Colorado, loves coffee and says puppies are her weakness.
Our male recipient of the 2014 AAU Joel Ferrell Award is Tucker Van Leuwen-Hall from Boulder, Colorado.
Tucker not only competes for Mad Hops, but is also an instructor there with 13 years of experience in the sport. He is the Coach and Team Choreography Specialist of Mad Hops Competitive Jump Rope Team and Mini Hops. He is also the Lead Instructor of JumpNBeans.
He competed in the World Trials in North Carolina, where he qualified for every event for individuals. At the AAU Junior Olympic Games this year, he took home the five gold medals and a silver with his Mad Hops team. With his partner, Sophie Lattes, they scored three golds and a silver medal and individually he earned four gold medals.
Tucker is a college student at Southern California Institute of Architecture.
Congratulations to both Becky and Tucker and good luck in all of your future endeavors!