Henrikson’s long jump record lasts 43 years at Central High School

Ken “Fuzzy” Henrikson’s 1968 record of 22 feet, 2 inches in the long jump for Central High School stood for 43 years until Alec Rupe surpassed it last spring with a jump of 22 feet, 10 inches during the Colorado State Track and Field Championships. Henrikson’s mispelled name and his long jump record are still displayed in the school’s hallway on the athletic record board behind him.

When Alec Rupe jumped 22 feet,  10 inches in the long jump at the Class 5A state track meet last spring, it surpassed a 43-year-old Central High School record.

Although it was a surprise that a boy with only two weeks’ experience in the sport broke the record, the fact it fell didn’t surprise the man whose name is now No. 2 on the honor roll at the school.

Ken “Fuzzy” Henrikson jumped 22 feet, 2 inches in 1968. It was the longest-standing individual track and field record at Central.

“I was always very surprised when I had people that told me it was still standing,” said Henrikson, now 61. “It felt good to have something that stood that long.”

Henrikson, who also played football and basketball for the Warriors, ran track his junior and senior years. Henrikson broke the record of 18 feet at the state qualifying meet his senior year.

Much like Rupe, Henrikson was urged to join the track team because of his athleticism.

“I always had some spring, so someone said, ‘you should try track,’ and it seemed to work out,” Henrikson said.

Henrikson also set the triple jump record at Central, which was broken by Dave Dible in 1971.

Henrikson has one record remaining at Central as a member of the 880-yard relay team, along with Kurt Kelley, Tom Kunkle and Jim Clark.

The school has since changed all of the records to coincide with track events running on meter tracks, so it’s listed at the school as the 4x200-meter relay.

Henrikson said the coaching of Del Hessel helped transform Central into a good track team.

“Coach Hessel had a really good work ethic and kept us motivated,” Henrikson said. “With the training he had, it helped us really develop.”

Henrikson qualified for the state track meet in the long jump the year he set the record, but didn’t have much success.

“The way they ran it back then was you had to stand in line and really couldn’t warm up,” Henrikson said. “I didn’t do well at state.”

Henrikson, a salesman at Western Slope Auto, appreciates the fact his record stood as long as it did, and added he was impressed by Rupe’s natural talent.

“I probably couldn’t jump 22 inches now,” Henrikson said with a laugh. “It’s crazy to look back at it now.”


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