The former Brighton standout already owns the school reoord for the Bulls in the high jump. He also owns the Brighton school record in the event.
Chris Reape is setting the bar high for the rest of his career.
Literally and figuratively.
The former Brighton track and field standout high jumper is coming off an outstanding sophomore season at UB. Reape cleared 7-feet to break the school record in the event and qualify for the NCAA East Regional meet for the first time.
Reape is hoping his career is on an ascent that will one day put him among the top high jumpers in the country.
“It was a great season,” said Reape, a 2011 graduate of Brighton. “From a team standpoint we had a lot of recruits step forward and do well. Personally, I had some good improvement, and I am excited for next season.”
Reape began his sophomore season by breaking the high jump record held by Greece Arcadia grad Peter Bligh after clearing 6-11.50 at the Upstate Challenge at Cornell during the winter season.
Reape’s good fortunes in Ithaca continued during the spring season as he added to his school record when he cleared 7-0.25. He then tied for third at the MAC Championship to qualify for the East Regional.
“Chris has been a very focused invdiual since getting to Buffalo,” said Steve Esler, an assistant coach with the Bulls who works with field event athletes. “When he came to UB he wasn’t a highly recruited athlete. Despite this, he has always had confidence and a mental edge.”
Reape’s focus was evident his freshman year when he recorded personal bests during MAC Championship meets in the winter and spring season. He ended the year by placing fourth at the championship meet clearing a then personal best 6-9.50.
After seeing his competition, Reape knew he would have to change his training regimen. The biggest adjustment? Spending more time in the weight room.
Early success helped Reape who admitted to feeling plenty of nerves during his freshman year, even if it didn’t show on meet day.
“It was kind of a shock my freshman year because it was a step up in competition,” Reape said. “There is pressure to perform well and keep moving on. You have to be able to convince coaches you are ready to compete.”
Reape started competing in the high jump as an eighth grader. He quickly gained the coaches attention when a growth spurt sent him from 5-feet-4 to over 6-feet tall before his freshman year.
Reape’s skills weren’t diminished thanks to his changing body as he was a varsity high jumper as a ninth grader.
“As Chris’ career went on he became more consistent in his meet day approach,” said Craig Dennison, who coached Reape at Brighton. “The biggest jump was from his junior to senior season. He became mentally tougher because he wanted to establish himself as one of the area’s best jumpers.”
Page 2 of 2 - His confidence was on display throughout his senior year as he finished fifth at the state meet indoors and sixth outdoors. Reape said the strong performances throughout his senior year gave him the confidence needed to compete in college.
He is hoping to leave UB, like he did at Brighton, the school record holder in the high jump. Reape cleared 6-6 his senior year, which is still the school record.
“I enjoy getting to go back there and work with some of the guys who I was teammates with,” Reape said about his alma mater. “It’s pretty cool to see some of the guys now and help them become some of the better jumpers in the area.”