Cup stacking event involved thousands of groups throughout the world

by: REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Lake Grove third-grader Blake Hilliker shows a fellow cup stacker, third-grader Albert Yan, his time. Swiftly stacking and unstacking pyramids fashioned of brightly colored plastic cups, students at Lake Grove Elementary School simply seemed to be playing a game in the gym last week.

But, the entire school actually was participating in an effort to best the Guinness World Record for the most people sport stacking at multiple locations in one day. On Nov. 14, groups included the Lake Grove youngsters along with people at 32 locations in Oregon and at hundreds of sites throughout the United States, one of 35 countries participating in the effort, according to the World Sport Stacking REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Second-grader Lucas Anderson, left, and second-grader Cohen Ross focus on their cup-stacking time.

The goal was to involve 500,000 schools and organizations and above all to beat last year’s count of 483,658 participating groups. The goal was achieved — and then some: 544,783 groups were counted as of Wednesday afternoon.

Only time, 24 hours, was the enemy, because kids clocked each other to see how speedy they could be.

“It’s like a huge race,” explained Megan Tian, a Lake Grove second-grader.

Megan and her classmates weren’t just focused on the goal.

“It’s not about winning; it’s about having fun,” second-grader Cohen Ross said.

The Lake Grove teams worked in shifts with one group of students building cup pyramids at a time in the school gym. The children timed themselves, creating three- and six-cup creations and dismantling them by nesting the beverage containers inside of each other. There were several tables where students toiled furiously, their hands a blur. They periodically switched stations with some students at other tables and at a relay involving creating and deconstructing stacks before rushing back to a waiting teammate.

“I loved it,” second-grader Lucas Anderson said.

The effort wasn’t a first for Louise Gaustad. The PE teacher brought the competition to Lake Grove for the first time, but Gaustad got Oak Creek Elementary School involved in the annual event twice when she worked there. No other school in the Lake Oswego School District was involved this year. Gaustad has a host of reasons for having students perform this record-breaking activity.

“It uses both sides of the brain ... the body and helps improve hand-eye coordination,” she said. “It improves your focus and attention so kids become better at math, at reading ... at athletics, and it’s very fun. ... It brings light to our school.”

Jillian Daley can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 109. Follow her on Twitter, @jilliandaley.

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