By Caroline Polly
William Polly, grandson of Karl and Judy Polly of Wauneta, struck gold at the AAU Junior Olympic World Sport Stacking Championships in Houston, Texas, July 27-28.
Sport stacking is a new addition to the AAU Junior Olympic Games and was a huge success, gathering 250 competitors from five different countries: the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Canada.
In the less than three years that young Polly has been stacking, he has accumulated a number of honors.
He was the youngest stacker to have won the world championships when he took the title in 2011.
He won the first-ever U.S. national championships, held in Colorado Springs in March 2012. Shortly after, William defended his world champion title in April 2012 in Germany.
In his most recent experience at the Junior Olympic championships, he won nine gold, including the individual overall champion, one silver, two bronze and one fourth place.
Young Polly now has seven world records to his credit, three of which are still standing, including a new record set during the Junior Olympic Games.
His relay team, “Wills and Not Wills,” set a new world record in the timed 3-6-3 relay at a blistering 13.43 seconds, beating the previous record of 13.81 that was held jointly by another U.S. team William was on, “The Chosen Five,” and a German relay team.
The crowd included his biggest fans—both sets of grandparents, Karl and Judy Polly of Wauneta and Pete and Carole Stonitsch of New Jersey; parents Kris and Laura; and sister Caroline.
The relay team earned the number one spot on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top Ten Plays on Aug. 2.
Preliminaries took place on Friday, July 27, and finals were held on Saturday, July 28. William competed in three individual events, the 3-3-3, 3-6-3, and the cycle. He also participated in the doubles event with his partner Dominic Valerian of Ohio.
He competed with Wills and Not Wills in the timed 3-6-3 relay and in two head-to-head relays, and he lent a hand to the Virginia state relay team in the JRO State Challenge.
The other members of Wills and Not Wills are Mason Langenderfer of Ohio, Chandler Miller of Georgia and William Orrell of North Carolina.
William’s fastest individual times were 1.71 for the 3-3-3, 2.06 for the 3-6-3 and 5.94 for the cycle. His combined time of 9.71 seconds just narrowly beat second-place finisher William Orrell by two-tenths of a second.
Polly enjoys being an ambassador for his sport in which any youngster can participate. He says you don’t have to be tall or strong; you just have to love it and practice, practice, practice.