For two years Moore’s Mikey Moore competed in the long jump. Now a senior, he is a long jumper.

It’s all in the approach.

“Basically, I just trust and believe in myself,” Moore said.

Coming off consecutive wins at the John Jacobs Invitational and last Thursday’s Moore War meet, Moore looks like a favorite come the Class 6A state track and field meet, set for May 14-15 at Tulsa’s East Central High School. With a leap of 22-11, Moore’s tied for the longest jump in the state this spring with Tulsa Union’s Luke Snider. But the last time Snider and Moore met on the same venue, at the John Jacobs meet, Moore prevailed.

“I started out in my freshman year. It was kind of a thing I just picked up,” Moore said. “But my best years have been my junior and senior year. Last year, I kind of got the hang of it more … I think I have a good chance to take state title. If I just come out and work hard, I think I have a chance at it.”

Moore coach Chad Mashburn has watched Moore grow from novice to contender. He sees Moore’s potential in the high jump, too, where Moore owns the second highest jump, having cleared 6-6.

“He’s doing better than expected,” Mashburn said. “I knew he was a good high jumper but I had no idea that he could long jump that far. It changes the way you coach a kid and the things you can ask him to do while he is in the air. He will have to high jump 6-8 at least and long jump 23-6 to win.

“I think he can do both. There are a lot of good kids in these events this season.”

Moore’s athletic prowess first came to Mashburn’s attention in the high jump, where he’s always been good. Mashburn still contends it’s Moore’s better event.

Friday, at Edmond North, Moore backed up Mashburn’s assertion. With the top four jumpers in Class 6A, Moore won with a leap of 6-6. He narrowly missed at 6-9, hoping to set a new school record.

In the same meet, Moore took second in the long jump behind Union’s James Roberson. Moore claims he wasn’t at his best, yet he knows he can’t afford any more off days the rest of the season. Today, he’s at the Mid-State Conference meet at Edmond Memorial. Then comes Class 6A regional competition, where he’ll compete on his home track a week from Saturday, then the state meet.

Despite his success, Moore’s still surprised by his journey.

“I am very amazed at how I have been doing,” he said. “Last year, I was around 20 feet. This year I am close to 23-feet.”

Mashburn has long believed he has what it takes.

“It takes a lot of talent and Mikey is what you would call big stuff in a small package. Being only 5-7 he gets the most out of himself,” Mashburn said. “Second, you have to be able to run fast and control yourself in the air. I think he is beginning to understand that part of it. He is a great kid with great character. He is understanding what we are asking him to do. He is a coachable kid who loves to compete. He asks all the time if he can do another event. I wish he could do them all.”

Michael Kinney 366-3537

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