Rogers' Long Jump Trumps Gary Birch's 43-Year-Old Geneva Record

When Ben Rogers made his long-jump leap in the Kane County meet, he also leapt over the 1969 record set by Gary Birch.

One small step for Ben, one giant leap for the Geneva record books.

Geneva's Ben Rogers set two school records at Friday's Kane County Track Meet—a long jump of 22 feet, 4 1/4 inches, and a triple jump of 45 feet, 8 inches, as recorded in print by the Beacon-News' outstanding Rick Armstrong.

Rogers' triple-jump accomplishment really wasn't a small step, of course—but we'll get to that later.

What's really special was that Rogers broke the longest-standing record on the Geneva books— Gary Birch's long jump of 22 feet, 2 inches, which Birch set as a junior in 1969.

That a track record could hold up for 43 years, considering the advancements in training and nutrition of the past four-plus decades, is remarkable, and only adds to Birch's legend and Rogers' Friday accomplishment.

Bruce Tison's 6-8 in the high jump in 1975 is now Geneva's longest-standing track record.

Geneva tied with Kaneland for the Kane County Meet title, incidentally; which is believed to be Geneva's first win or share of it in this meet since 1945.

A Facebook post from recent said Rogers received a call from Birch, who is now a banker in Quincy, to offer his congratulations.

"A class act," Wehrmeister commented.

Rogers' triple-jump efforts this year have been no less impressive than his long jumping. He started the first meet of the year—the Mike VanDeveer Invitational in Geneva—by setting a new school record of 43 feet, 7 inches to set a school record and eclipse his previous personal best by a mind-blowing 3 feet, according to an excellent story by Dennis Jacobs for the Kane County Chronicle.

Rogers has kept improving, and went on to surpass that mark with the 45-8 triple jump at the Kane County meet.


  • Editor's note: This article is what folks in online news business call an aggregation. If there are any errors or ommissions, please leave a comment or contact rickn@patch.com.
Kurt Wehrmeister May 10, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Not only have training and nutrition advanced in the 43 years since Gary Birch set his now-fallen record, but perhaps more compellingly, equipment and facilities have improved as well. Birch set his record in '69 approaching the jump on a cinder-track runway!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »