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

Personal trainer Chris Spell, left, and architect Herb Guenther authenticate one of the two jumps Spell made April 19 at Catalyst Fitness in Cheektowaga in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record box jump of attempt of 63.6 inches. He cleared 64 inches on each of the jumps. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

Chris Spell is on a dual track toward two lofty goals.

Play football in the NFL.

Set the world record for the highest standing jump.

Spell will try out next weekend for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, a step that could bring him closer to his biggest goal.

He’s much closer to a Guinness World Record listing.

“I wanted to time the tryout with this box jump record, to kind of springboard my career,” said Spell, a former University at Buffalo football player who has spent the last several months training intensively for both.

Last weekend, the 23-year-old Westchester County native twice leaped more than 64 inches high, atop a collection of mats stacked in the Turf Room at Catalyst Fitness in Cheektowaga.

The world record is 63.6 inches, set in May 2016 by Evan Ungar in Oakville, Ont.

Spell arranged to have both of his jumps videotaped, and observed by three sworn witnesses: a member of the Air Force and two police officers. Clarence architect Herb Guenther measured and confirmed each of the heights.

That Guinness-sanctioned arrangement allowed him to save several thousand dollars it would have cost to bring in world record company representatives to handle those duties, said Spell, who works in a Buffalo youth soccer program.

He expects to hear from Guinness this week if either of his two successful jumps is official.

One measured 64.5 inches; the other, 64.625 inches — nearly 5 feet, 4 inches high.

A crowd gathered behind cones to watch both attempts, and erupted in cheers after Spell stuck the landing on each one.

“He’s in here almost every day,” Catalyst branch manager Antoinette Todaro said. “He’s in good shape.”

It was the second stab the nearly 5-foot-10 Spell took at the record. Several weeks ago, Guinness officials told him the mats in an earlier attempt had too much give, and suggested he better stabilize them.

Spell began box jumping in earnest last August, when he discovered he could do it well.

“People were impressed by what I was doing in the gym,” he said, “and I wondered what the record was. I decided to look on Guinness World Record and it was 63.6 inches. I was getting 61 inches comfortably back then, and I was like, ‘Wait a minute, that’s pretty close. It would be really cool to say I’m the best in the world at something.’ So I started training.”

Cleaner eating — adding more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to a protein-rich diet — and six-day-a-week workouts have steeled him in his efforts. Spell focuses on legs twice a week, once doing squats, deadlifts and other strengthening exercises, the other drop-down jumps and box jumping drills.

Spell played football at Walter Panas High School in Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., then at Hartwick College in Oneonta, before transferring to UB and walking onto the Division 1 football program. The wide receiver — who never caught a pass in a game but was a regular on special teams — played on scholarship his last semester before graduating in late 2017 with a bachelor’s in sociology.

During his school pro day in 2018, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds and broad jumped 10 feet, 10 inches.

Spell credited UB football coach Lance Leipold and strength and conditioning coach Ryan Cidzik for inspiring him to get into the physical condition he hopes will give him a shot at both of his goals.

“All of my training from University of Buffalo really helped even outside of the weight room,” he said.

If pro football doesn’t work out, he and his high school sweetheart, Anna Kelley, a hospitality major at SUNY Buffalo State, plan to return to Westchester County after she graduates next year. Spell, now a certified personal trainer, looks to teach other young athletes how to improve their physical performance.

“I’m super excited about this record,” he said, “but football is my true love, and that’s where my training and my head and all my effort is going to go to after I officially get this.”

He also may look to set other world records. The most obvious? The running vertical jump, which now stands at 73 inches.

[“source=buffalonews”]

World’s No 1 bridge player suspended after failing a drugs test

Bridge is not known for doping violations and Kari-Anne Opsal, president of the Norwegian Bridge Federation, insists the drugs Geir Helgemo took were ‘not performance enhancing’

Bridge is not known for doping violations and Kari-Anne Opsal, president of the Norwegian Bridge Federation, insists the drugs Geir Helgemo took were ‘not performance enhancing’. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

The world No 1 bridge player has been suspended after failing a drugs test.

Geir Helgemo, who is Norwegian but represents Monaco in bridge events, tested positive for synthetic testosterone and the female fertility drug clomifene at a World Bridge Series event in Orlando in September.

After accepting he had breached anti-doping rules, Helgemo was suspended by the World Bridge Federation (WBF) until 20 November. He also had all titles, medals and points from the 2018 World Bridge Series revoked.

Kari-Anne Opsal, president of the Norwegian Bridge Federation, said the drugs were “not performance enhancing”. In a statement on the federation’s website, she said: “Geir Helgemo … has previously played for the Norwegian national team and is our biggest star. Many within the bridge community know Geir and respect him.

“It is his responsibility not to take substances that are on the doping list, even though in this instance they are not performance enhancing in bridge. I feel for Geir in this situation and hope he will come back stronger after his ban ends.”

The World Bridge Federation (WBF) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee and as such abides by World Anti-Doping Agency rules.

[“source=theguardian”]

Etsy and BlackBerry Make News, Big Player Enters Search Ads

030915 etsy2

Big announcements came from both Etsy and BlackBerry this week. But just as important is a big player moving into search ads for small business. Read about these and other top stories in the Small Business News and Information Roundup this week.

Technology Trends

Etsy IPO Crafted to Seek $100 Million in Investment

Etsy is planning to go public. The online marketplace site announced that it had filed IPO paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to begin the process of opening its stock to the public. In the filing, Etsy says it hopes to raise $100 million in the sale of its stock with the IPO. Etsy is exploding in popularity.

BlackBerry Jumps Into Mid-Range Market with Leap Phone

On March 3, at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Blackberry announced its latest smartphone. The new BlackBerry Leap is an all-touch smartphone boasting a reasonable price tag, the company says. Here are some specs to sink your teeth into: The BlackBerry Leap sports a 5-inch HD display, BlackBerry 10 OS, 16GB of storage, and an 8MP camera.

Advertising

ypSearch Wants to Be Your One-Stop Shop for Search Ads

YP, formerly AT&T Interactive and AT&T Advertising Solutions, says it’s created a new one-stop shop for search ads. The new service is being touted as a solution for small business owners overwhelmed by maintaining campaigns with multiple search ad providers. ypSearch is the latest product from YP to cater to small business owners specifically.

Bad News for Marketers, Pinterest Affiliate Links a “No-Go”

If you were an affiliate marketer using Pinterest, you recently got some bad news. The social media site just instituted a complete ban on affiliate marketing. That means any affiliate marketer using the social Pinning site has probably had all those links removed by now.

Employment

25 Percent of your Competitors are Recruiting on LinkedIn

A lot of small businesses apparently had a good 2014. And they’re looking to grow during the early part of this year. That’s the crux of a new report from SurePayroll, the company’s February Small Business Scorecard. The ScoreCard focuses on so-called “micro-businesses” with between 1 and 10 employees. But the average business represented has about six employees, SurePayroll says.

Local Marketing

Did You Know There was a Black Friday for Lawn and Garden?

Here are some statistics that might make anyone who operates a small business sit up and take notice. The average household spent $347 on lawn and garden last year. Sure, that may seem like a drop in the bucket when compared to the $335 billion in home improvement sales expected this year.

Research

ADP: Slowing in Small Business Job Creation No Cause for Alarm

Job growth continues to drop across the U.S., but it’s a downward trend that shouldn’t cause much alarm. The ADP February 2015 Small Business Jobs Report for February reveals that there were 94,000 small business jobs added last month. That figure is down from the 97,000 small business jobs added in January.

Retail Trends

Move Over Square, Here Comes vCita LiveSite Online Payments

If you’re opening an online store, there are plenty of options for taking payments. Some platforms like Square Market even offer you the option to set up an online store free. But for service-based small businesses, taking payments on your website requires a little creative thinking and a little Web know-how sometimes.

Finally, the Small Business EMV Assistance Program is Here

Your business may be ready to upgrade to an EMV card reader. The cost of doing this may be curbing your ambition, though. But now, small businesses can get some help to defray that cost, with the introduction of the Small Merchant EMV Assistance Program from American Express. To recap, EMV cards are sometimes called chip cards or chip-and-PIN cards.

Retailbound Wants to Build a Retail Platform for Gadget Entrepreneurs

So you have a successful crowdfunding campaign. Your product has been funded, manufactured, and shipped. The question is, now what? According to Retailbound, Inc. only one in fifty crowdfunded gadget entrepreneurs manage to get their product on the shelves of major retailers. The team behind Retailbound wants to improve these odds.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Former Russian Ballerina Develops Yuve Nutritional Products

When Russian ballerina Lola Sherunkova moved to the U.S., the transition took a bit of a toll on her health. Since she wasn’t keeping up the same level of physical activity, she felt the need to improve her nutrition.

Small Business Operations

FedEx Rewards Loyalty With Breaks on Shipping

FedEx is looking to give some shipping and other discounts to its loyal small business customers. The company has extended the participation eligibility in its FedEx rewards program. FedEx says that small businesses can earn shipping and printing discounts, receive exclusive offers.

With BigPicture, Spreadsheets Come to Life with Visuals

Being introduced to BigPicture is like peeling an onion – there are a lot of layers inside, each one adding depth and functionality to this new Excel add-on. While you may not love onions (or onion metaphors), by the time you reach the center of BigPicture, you’re going to wonder how you ever lived without it.

Startup

Pittsburgh Business Offers Another Mother for College Students

College students aren’t known for being the most clean and organized bunch. Often young and just leaving the comfort of mom and dad’s house for the first time, college students sometimes might benefit from a little extra help … perhaps in the form of a mom.

Entrepreneur Cleans Up With Handmade Product Businesses

The craft and hobby industry is booming, reaching the $30 billion mark in the U.S. alone. Online resources and marketplaces like Etsy have made it incredibly easy for almost anyone to turn a hobby or creative passion into a business. But with so many of these businesses popping up daily, it can be a challenge to make one really stand out.

Flow Hive Makes Harvesting Honey Easier for Bees and Beekeepers Alike

Consuming honey may be an enjoyable activity, but gathering it certainly isn’t. Extracting honey from beehives has traditionally been a complicated and sometimes dangerous process. But now an Australian beekeeper and his son are aiming to change that process. Their product is called Flow Hive. The device dispenses honey from a tap, similar to how syrup is extracted from maple trees.

Image: Etsy

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

ICC World Cup 2016: Google Search Gets Player Quotes, Live Commentary

ICC World Cup 2016: Google Search Gets Player Quotes, Live Commentary

The 2016 ICC World Twenty20 (aka ICC World Cup T20 2016) tournament hit its full swing on Tuesday, with the India vs New Zealand match. Alongside, Google unveiled two features to help fans engage with their favourite players and teams, apart from keeping a track of live scores and match results.

The new Search features follow on the launch of score updates and match schedules in Google Searchresults last week. The initiative also follows similar fan engagement efforts by Facebook, Instagram, andTwitter. To note, the search giant is calling the two features ‘experimental’. Google Search users can now expect fresh content directly from players, personalities, and commentators; and also enjoy a new live sports commentary panel.

(Also see: 2016 ICC World Twenty20: Facebook, Instagram Let You Support Your Favourite Team)

“Want to read Captain Cool MS Dhoni’s latest match reflections? Or see what Virat Kohli’s been up to on and off the pitch? During the ICC World T20, people will now be able to hear from your favorite cricketers more easily. Now if you search for Ravindra Jadeja, in addition to the news articles, tweets and links you’re used to seeing in Google Search, you’ll also see posts, match photos, or videos directly from him,” wrote Google in a blog post.

(Also see: 2016 ICC World Twenty20: Twitter Unveils Trump Cards, New Emojis, and More)

This first feature (seen above) will show fans the latest posts, photos, and videos from cricketers themselves when they search for a particular player. The second feature (seen below), being called a ‘live sports commentary panel’ by Google, is essentially the same thing but works with a wider range of search terms. Users will be shown real-time or live commentary from cricketers, commentators, and experts as the match is in progress.

icc_world_t20_google_search_kohli.jpgThe latter commentary panels will be available for limited number of matches, while curated player, team, and commentator content will be available for select individuals, both of which are listed on the blog post.

“Now, when you search for cricket and ICC World Twenty20 related queries like “T20″ or team names during and after matches, you’ll see real-time commentary on the match from a range of cricket stars. That way you can catch Akash Chopra’s most recent quip or Boria Majumdar’s anecdotes on cricketing history,” Google explains in its blog post.

The company added that the new Search features will only be available during the ICC World T20 2016.

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Tags: Cricket, Cricket World Cup, Google, Google India, Google Search, ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC World Cup 2016,ICC World T20 2016, ICC World Twenty20, India
[“source-Gadgets”]