His cup-stacking skills runneth over

By on May 16, 2018

You might wonder why Brendan Fernandez usually carries a dozen plastic cups around with him.

It’s not that the nine-year-old is extra thirsty, although you might say that he is thirsty for victory.

The third-grader at Lititz Elementary School is a champion cup stacker, who currently holds the Pennsylvania state record for cup stacking. He is also a qualifier for the 2018 AAU Junior Olympic Games, which will be held in Des Moines, Iowa. Brendan recently competed at the New England Sport Stacking Competition in Rhode Island and broke the Pennsylvania state record for the 9-10 age division in the “cycle stack” with a record time of 6.585 seconds.

The former record was 6.724 seconds. He finished 7th overall against some of the top ranked cup stackers in the world, receiving a total of six medals in different categories. This competition moved him higher in the rankings. He is now recognized by the World Sport Stacking Association as the 6th fastest cup stacker in the state of Pennsylvania.

If you don’t know what cup stacking is, you have to see Brendan at work. He starts off with 12 plastic cups and quickly stacks them in specific patterns. It takes less than 7 seconds for him to almost magically stack, restack and rearrange the cups. First he builds them up, then he takes them apart, finishing with a flourish.

Brendan Fernandez is nine-year-old phenom when it comes to quick cup stacking. In fact, the third-grader at Lititz Elementary School currently holds the Pennsylvania state record for cup stacking in his age group.

“When I show people how I stack the cups, they always say, wow!” says the cheerful young boy with a big smile. He explains that he has only been stacking cups for two years. He got started after watching YouTube videos, and using red plastic cups from his dad’s kitchen. The son of Ivelisse Gonzalez and Luis Gonzalez, the young champion has his parents amazed at his unique talent.

His cup stacking talents have also made him popular with his classmates, who try to keep up with the speedy stacker. Students in fifth grade gym class learn cup stacking as part of their coordination training, but Brendan is way ahead of them all.

By the time he gets to fifth grade, he’ll probably be an international champion. After getting started with kitchen cups, Brendan now has his own set of official cup stacking cups. He likes to carry them around with him, because the key to his success is practice, practice, practice. Whenever he gets the opportunity, he gets out his stacking cups and starts stacking them.

“I’m never bored. I always have something to do,” says Brendan. “I practice all the time and I watch different stackers on YouTube to get even faster.” Brendan explains that there are three different types of stacks. There is a 3-3-3 stack, a 3-6-3 stack and a cycle stack, which is a combination of stacks.

Brendan hopes to become the Pennsylvania state record holder in all categories for his division. He has participated in three cup stacking competitions so far, and hopes to compete in many more as he perfects his skills.

“My goal is to be selected to the USA Speed Stacking team,” says Brendan. For more information on WSSA, and Brendan’s ranking, check out thewssa.com/sport-stackers/brendan-fernandez/191262/

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the Record Express. She can be reached at lknowles21@gmail.com

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