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    Somerville students hope to link up with world record

    For anyone who thinks getting a group of arm-linked people to stand up from the floor simultaneously sounds easy, there are 59 Somerville High School students who would say otherwise.

    On Tuesday afternoon, they attempted to break a world record and are confident they did.

    “We wanted something that would be fun and challenging at the same time for the school, and it was a way to get everyone involved,” said sophomore class president Flavia Martins.


    The students sat on the cafeteria floor in a round-edged square, backs facing the center. They had to stand up without arms unlinking and without anyone’s butt touching the ground again. After nearly 10 tries, they succeeded, but did it a second time just to be sure.

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    The current Guinness World Record is 49 people, set by Glory Global Solutions Management Team on April 24, 2013, in Himeji, Hyogo, Japan.

    Four sophomore class officers — Martins, Ella Sprick, Anika Kawsar, and Spencer Pitkin — thought of going for it in Somerville.

    They organized four practices in the last few weeks. History teacher Kevin Dua, one of 242 William & Mary students to break the record for largest “Thriller” dance in 2009 (the mark was quickly broken), provided advice.

    The Somerville High record attempt has been in the works for the past year, Dua said. This goal was chosen for its feasibility, Martins said.


    The class officers captured the attempt on video, which will be sent to Guinness to determine if the students broke the record.

    Per Guinness’s instructions, there was a steward watching for correct form and two witnesses counting people. The school will receive verification on the status of the attempt during the summer.

    The class officers promoted the event through morning announcements, posters, sign-up sheets, and a video.

    For Leonora Koney, a freshman whose legs and shoulders were sore at the end, “it was worth all the pain and the struggle.”

    Erica Moser can be reached at