Deer Lakes third-grader headed to Philly for Rubik's Cube competition
Deer Lakes third grader Christian Cappetta had never picked up a Rubik's Cube until a few months ago, and now he's going to compete in a national championship.
Christian, 10, heads to Philadelphia this weekend to compete in the Hasbro Rubik's Cube Championship. He'll compete against other kids his age trying to win the $5,000 grand prize.
The competition takes place Saturday and Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. Participants will have three solves on Saturday followed by the finals on Sunday.
Christian can solve a cube in about a minute, but he'd like to beat that this weekend.
"I want a 45 second solve," he said. "That would be amazing."
Christian's teacher, Sherry Soxman, got a box of the Rubik's Cubes for her class to help with their problem-solving skills and Cappetta instantly took to it.
"Did I think that any of my students would be able to solve it, especially as quickly as Christian? No, I actually didn't," she said. "I wasn't surprised because he really is a hard worker."
Christian's mom, Dawn Cappetta, said she's proud of how fast Christian caught on.
"It's just a fun hobby — he really loves to do it," she said. "It's kind of neat to see him grab something that is just so different than a lot of the kids."
Dawn and her husband, Chris, have never been able to solve the cube themselves, but were able to dig out an old one from storage for Christian.
"We joke with him and say, 'when we were kids we moved the stickers to solve it,'" Dawn Cappetta said.
Christian has more than 20 cubes already, each one a little different. He said he'd like to get up to 35.
Soxman said she has older kids come to her classroom looking for Christian to help them solve their cubes.
"I memorized all these moves," Christian said. "It's hard to teach people because it's all just muscle memory."
He's been practicing at school and in his free time for this weekend. He said he's nervous, but looking forward to the competition.
Christian just has one strategy going into competition.
"I'm going to try to solve it fast," he said.
Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4680, email@example.com or on Twitter @emilybalser.