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Athlete. The premier Nebraska high school long jumper of the 1930s, Jim Mather was a 1936 graduate of Arapahoe High School in Furnas County. He was years ahead of others in this track & field event and capped his career in 1936 at the state track meet by jumping 23 feet, 4 inches, a record which lasted in Class C until the 1970s. He was also the winning Class C 220 yard sprint champion at the ‘36 state meet. A four-year varsity man at Arapahoe High in both football and track, he was a Peru State College star in both track and football.

Another point in history: James Mather held the long jump record for all classes between 1936 and 1961 when a great leap by Gale Sayers (24-10) took away that honor.

ARAPAHOE — James D. “Jim” Mather, 85, of Arapahoe died Sunday, Oct. 12, 2003, at his home. He graduated from Arapahoe Public Schools in 1936 and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1936 to 1937 and Peru State College from 1939 to 1941.