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WHHS junior breaks world record again

Josh Hainsel Josh Hainsel


Although Josh Hainsel gets little renown in his hometown, he’s world famous in sport stacking.

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Plenty of sports games come down to the final seconds, to be sure. Josh’s specialty is measured in thousandths of seconds — start to finish.
A 16-year-old junior at West Henderson High School, Josh set a world record in January at a World Sport Stacking Association tournament in Columbus, Ga. It was not his first world record but it was the first time in a while he had regained the top spot.
“He sort of quit stacking in July,” said his mother, Andrea Hainsel. He was busy with marching band and school. When he picked up the cups again, he found that the layoff had helped his speed.
“A week and a half before the tournament he realized he needed to practice and he’s the fastest he’s ever been,” Andrea said. “He just felt really confident he was going to do it. He went in (to a stacking website) and he typed, ‘I’m going to break the world record.’”
Josh had never been known for swagger. Did the prediction surprise his mom?
“It did,” she said, “and it also made me feel he was probably going to do it, that he felt that good.”
Having announced to the sport stacking community that he would take the world record from rival William Orrell, Josh wasted no time. On his first try, he stacked three pyramids in 1.786 seconds, shattering Orrell’s record of 1.840 seconds in a category called 3-6-3.
Next up for mom and the stacking prodigy is the world championship next month over Josh’s spring
break.
“He and I are going to Taiwan,” Andrea said. The World Sport Stacking Association meet will attract top competitors from nations that produce fast stackers, including Korea, Malaysia and Germany.
The primary benefit of Josh’s success goes beyond the stacking table. Josh and his family “get to go to these places and be with people and also to interact and have friends all over the world,” Andrea said. “It’s amazing for our whole family. The minute they announced this was in Taiwan I said, ‘OK, Josh, we’ve got to go because I want to go.’”
Nine years ago, when the little boy with the lightning quick hands took up an obscure sport, Hainsel watched with amusement and tolerance.
“It’s something different,” she said. “My message to parents always is you never know where things are going to lead for children, so just let them do it. When he started stacking at age 7 it seemed a little strange but it’s taken him all over the world now.”