Hassan Harclerode Jr. likes a challenge, and his latest one is Rubik’s Cube.
The Central High School 10th-grader bought his first cube on Amazon two months ago. It took him two hours to solve the 3-D combination puzzle the first time. Now, Harclerode’s average is about 40 seconds, and his fastest time is around 27 seconds.
His mother posted a video of him in action on Facebook Sept. 1, and it drew 1,500 views.
“I saw a challenge that I hadn’t done,” said Harclerode, the son of Kayanna Banks and Hassan Harclerode. “I really wanted to test my skill and brain power.”
He practices at least two hours every day between school and home, and he’s upgraded from a standard cube to a higher-quality model. He times himself with an online computer program.
He is fine-tuning his skills so he can get faster and work his way up to the cubing big leagues. The Rubik’s Cube world record now stands at an astounding 4.74 seconds.
Harclerode, a pre-International Baccalaureate student, will compete in his first cubing competition in Marietta on Sept. 24. With more practice, he hopes he can one day make it to nationals.
“I want to see if I can at least get below 15 seconds,” he said. “You do need a certain strategy and a way to do it. There is a certain pattern and algorithms to do it.”
There are many different ways to solve a Rubik’s Cube, but Harclerode said the “Roux” method is his favorite. Banks said her son recently learned to solve two new styles of Rubik’s Cube, including a pyramid-shaped one that he has completed in 19 seconds.
When he’s not cubing, Harclerode enjoys drawing, reading and playing video games. He likes math, science, art and English, and he wants to study art and architecture in college.
“He’s very quiet and reserved. He gets into things more deeply than his classmates. He’s more analytical,” said Erika Wallace, an English language arts teacher at Central. “I’ve seen him with (the cube) and do it, and it’s mind boggling.”