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Box jump record eludes former UB football player – for now

It looks like Chris Spell will have to break the world standing box jump record the hard way.

Guinness World Records told the former University at Buffalo football player that his 64.625-inch jump earlier this month didn’t qualify because he stuck his landing on a surface that was too cushy.

"It's very confusing and frustrating," Spell said Monday afternoon after he learned about the decision.

He said he plans to try again.

Spell made two successful jumps April 19 at Catalyst Fitness in Cheektowaga atop a stack of gym boxes – each topped with a thin layer of hard foam – piled more than 64 inches high. The boxes were set against a wall in the gym Turf Room.

The best jump was nearly 5 feet, 4 inches.

Evan Ungar set the official record, 63.6 inches, in May 2016 at a One Health Clubs fitness center in Oakville, Ont.; he landed on the highest of seven metal weights stacked atop a plyometric box in the middle of the gym.

Guinness informed Spell that he needed to use such boxes or plates to make an official attempt.

Spell first thought he broke the record last November at Catalyst but said Guinness officials told him he needed to better moor his boxes. He did so this time using resistance bands and heavy weights, including three 97-pound kettlebells.

Rachel Gluck, public relations coordinator with Guinness World Records North America, said the London-based company keeps secret their correspondence with those trying to break records, but that the general rules for the “highest standing jump (male)” read as follows.

  • The participant must stand facing the surface onto which they will jump. They can stand at any distance away from the surface before jumping.
  • The landing surface must be completely flat and with enough surface area to accommodate both of the jumper’s feet. Suitable surfaces include permanent platforms, exercise boxes found at fitness centres, etc. Regardless of the surface, the landing area must be fixed and immovable by the participant.
  • On a given signal the participant jumps up.

Ex-UB football player hopes he set world box jump record

Both his world record attempts were videotaped and observed by sworn witnesses who included police officers and military personnel, along with an architect who measured and confirmed the heights. The Guinness-sanctioned arrangement allowed him to save several thousand dollars it would have cost to bring in world record company representatives.

Still, Spell said, he had to spend $1,300 for Guinness officials to fast track the application and decision-making process, which otherwise can take three months.

"I don't know if I can keep on getting my hopes up and pouring all this money into it,” he said, “but I'm still determined to get the record."

Spell hopes Guinness will waive any more fees, which would allow him to organize another attempt within six weeks.


Twitter: @BNrefresh@ScottBScanlon

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