Madrigal is world spin-top champ

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Madrigal  is world  spin-top  champAdding to the list of prestigious, and obscure, titles that Ridgecrest bears, Jose Madrigal is now the world champion in his category for top-spinners — an offshoot of the World YoYo Competition.

“There are many more yoyo players than top spinners, since top-spinning is tougher to get started with,” said Madrigal.

He spent a weekend in Cleveland last month, when 200 competitors from 21 countries competed for the highest honors.

“There were 10 spin-top contestants who performed on stage,” said Madrigal. “They came from the U.S.A., Columbia, Japan, Canada and Mexico.”

Each contestant is given three minutes to demonstrate skills for the judges. Each contestant is judged on overall entertainment value of the performance, body control and use of music.

The championship moves between North America, Europe and Asia each year to determine titles in seven categories of play — including six yo-yo divisions along with spintop.

Madrigal got his start in yoyo when he was in sixth grade. “It wasn’t until I was in college that I started competing. I learned spintop basics when I was in college.”

In 2017 he traveled to Iceland to compete, bringing home third in the world for spintop and second for yoyo in the Over 40 category.

“This year I focused on top,” he said, taking first in that competition and fifth in yoyo.

After his initial placement in 2017, Madrigal returned home to share his skills with local youth. He now teaches yoyo and spin-top on non-flex Saturdays from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at the Ridgecrest Branch Library. He also teaches non-flex Sundays at Just Imagine from 1-2 p.m. Just Imagine stocks the tops and yoyos he recommends for the class.

“Yoyo is more accessible than top to start, but I have some kids learning top as well.”

He held his first community competition at the library on Aug. 3.

Madrigal is a veteran of the Air Force. He has lived in Ridgecrest since 2007, and works at China Lake as an engineer. His diverse hobbies also include restoring his 1966 VW, baking, brewing, unicycling, juggling and singing with the Catholic congregation of the All Faith Chapel.

Pictured: Jose Madrigal (front left) with some of the students in his classes. — Courtesy photo

Story First Published: 2019-09-06