HOBART | They say if you can high jump your height, take a bow. You're pretty good.
Hobart's Matt Stewart stands 6-foot tall, and his personal best is 6-8, so send a shout-out his way.
"I'd say he has an upside to him," Hobart coach Ty Artherhults said. "His (high jump) PR is 6-8, and if he could tack on two more inches to that this year, that would be pretty awesome.
"He should be able to long jump 22 feet. His PR is almost 21 feet, and he certainly has room for improvement on that. He has really nice speed."
Stewart finished 21st at state last year in the high jump (6-2) and is relatively new to the long jump.
"I definitely think I can make 6-10," he said. "And 22 feet seems reasonable. Weather always plays a key role."
Assistant coaches Craig Osika and Mike Black have helped bring Stewart along in both events, of which the high jump has always been his passion.
"It started in middle school," Stewart said. "I was the best (high jumper) in middle school, but I didn't really think it would transform into what it has.
"Eighth grade was 5-4; ninth grade I went straight to 6-1. And then 6-7, 6-8. Hopefully, this year 6-10."
Stewart shares the school high jump record with Bill Ellis from back in the 1980s.
The two-time regional qualifier used to think taller jumpers have a distinct advantage, but history has proven otherwise.
Olympians Jessie Williams (6-1/2) and Stefan Holm (5-11 1/2) have both jumped 7-10.
While not a weight room fanatic like Merrillville rival Austin Jamerson, Stewart uses cross country to increase his leg strength.
"If I keep having meets with Jamerson, he'll definitely push me each time. I gain a lot of inspiration from him," Stewart said.
"Long jumpers land on their sides a lot of the times, and I didn't really try that until I saw Jamerson do it, and it got me a better jump."
Check's in the mail, right?