School record broken after 51 years

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It was a leap, but Kahu Geary has broken a 51-year-old record on the athletics field.

The 13-year-old recently broke Dunstan High School’s U14 boys’ long jump record with a jump of 5.28m — 10cm further than the previous record.

‘‘Once I did the jump I thought it was too short because it felt all wrong, but it was not too bad.’’

His efforts impressed many, including the man he took the title off — Dunstan High School relief teacher Alan (Bones) Hamilton.

Mr Hamilton thought it was wonderful, ‘‘especially when I coach kids to do things like that’’.

A relief teacher at the school, Mr Hamilton also coaches Kahu through the Alexandra Athletics Club.

He was more than happy to see the record move on.

‘‘They [records] were all made to be broken, they will all go one day.’’

Mr Hamilton recalls the day he claimed the record.

‘‘It was 1970. It was out on the school grounds — the long jump pit was under a couple of pine trees.’’

A couple of years later the facilities moved over to neighbouring Molyneux Park.

Mr Hamilton said a combination of speed and power helped Kahu gain the height he needed.

‘‘And, on top of that he has a family that is wonderfully supportive.’’

Breaking a record was not the only success Kahu has had this season.

He recently represented Dunstan High School at the Otago Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships at the Caledonian Ground in Dunedin, where he was placed first in high jump (1.65m), third in long jump (4.98m) and third in the 200m sprints.

Next on his agenda is the Athletics NZ interprovincials taking place in Palmerston North in April, where he will represent Otago in long jump, high jump and 100m and 200m sprints.

His athletics season will wind down after that, allowing Kahu to spend some time on the rugby field for Dunstan High School, where he will often be seen out on the wing or at first five.