Twirling to the top: Hawaii teen’s baton skills clinch bronze at international competition
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Saint Louis School freshman Jax Scott has a packed schedule.
“I’m running cross country right now. I would like to do soccer when it comes around,” he said.
But where he really excels is in a sport you might not expect.
Jax is one of the best baton twirlers in the world for his age group and competition level.
This summer, the 14-year-old won the bronze medal at the world championships in Liverpool, England.
“I was really hoping for a medal in two-baton because I think that’s the most I put the work into. That was probably my best routine. I really tried on that one,” he said.
Jax was among more than 1,200 athletes representing 21 countries.
It was his first Nations Cup competition.
“I was blown away by how successful he was in the performance that he did to earn himself a bronze medal. I really felt in my gut that it was good enough for a medal. I was just waiting to see what color it would be,” said his coach, Jennifer Marcus.
He started twirling when he was 11, after finding his mom’s baton packed away in the garage.
He had a natural flair for it that coaches picked up on. And he has all the tools — the fearlessness to toss his batons 50 feet in the air and the coordination to catch them without breaking stride.
He keeps going even when he makes a mistake.
“You just kind of go with the flow. You just keep going,” he said.
“When I twirl I look right above the judges so I don’t have to look them right in the eyes. It looks like I’m looking at them, but I’m not really.”
Marcus and his other coach, Cody Carter, live on the mainland.
They work with him through Facetime sessions and by critiquing his routines.
Marcus, a muti-medalist and world champion twirler, calls him courageous.
“It’s really admirable that he’s a male baton twirler because obviously there’s not as many male athletes as there are female twirlers in the country,” she said.
“To be a male athlete and to be successful really takes a lot of courage, I think.”
“If you find a passion or love for something even if it’s the unpopular thing to do, keep doing it no matter what. Having joy and happiness is worth way more than what others think,” Jax said.
Winning a medal at the world championships proved to himself that he can compete at the highest levels. “I felt like I belonged somewhere when I won it and I brought a medal back to the USA.”
Twirling’s a year-round sport.
Right now, Jax has time to prepare a new routine and set his sights on representing Team USA at the Junior Olympics.
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