Hamline News

August 19, 2011

Hamline Student Wins World Championship

Charles Schweitzer knows how to keep many balls in the air.

As a junior biology major and a member of the cross country team, he’s adept at juggling rigorous coursework and intense practices.

But as it turns out, he’s also skilled at juggling while running, and has a world champion title to prove it.

“I’ve always been a runner, and juggling was a hobby as a kid,” Schweitzer, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, said. “Somewhere down the line I just sort of mixed them and it just so happens there are a few others who do it too.”

The sport, called joggling, was the main feature at this year’s International Juggling Association meet in Rochester, Minnesota. Schweitzer was not only the first place world champion for the 5 kilometer run, but also swept the 4x100 meter relay with a team of three others.

Schweitzer is modest about his new honor, but proud nonetheless.

“I’m a joggling champion. That’s pretty cool,” Schweitzer said. “It’ll make a pretty good conversation starter.”

Joggling not only requires sharp coordination, but also steadfast endurance, due to the loss of momentum normally generated by swinging arms. Each dropped ball is a costly mistake that requires the contestant to go back to the spot where it was dropped. This can have a profound impact on the final time.

Despite these challenges, Schweitzer was casual in his preparation for the race.

“I’ve been doing my cross-country workouts and I’ve been juggling for years. I just thought I’d run it and see how I did, and as it turned out, I did very well,” Schweitzer said.

He hopes to defend his champion title if next year’s meet is nearby. In the meantime, he and his fellow cross country teammates at Hamline have their eyes set on continuing their record of excellence.

“We were conference champs last year and the year before and we want to repeat that,” Schweitzer said. 

Watch Schweitzer joggling in the video below which was filmed during a photo shoot for the Hamline Magazine.