One could see the springs in Reshard Hicks' legs two years ago when he cleared 6 feet, 6 inches as a sophomore at Robinson.
But 7 feet? Who would have ever thought Hicks, who is 5-7, could high jump a bar 7 feet above the ground?
Yet that is exactly what he did Saturday during the Nash Higgins Relays at Leto High, where hundreds stopped to watch _ and cheer for a long, long time _ after he landed victorious on the mat.
Even Hicks was amazed.
"When they put it at 7 feet, I thought, "Whoa, that looks really, really high,' " said Hicks, who conquered the height on his third and final attempt. "I looked up at it and my jaw dropped. . . .
"The adrenaline was really pumping, my heart was racing, my heart was pumping wild. All those people were watching and I said, "Now I have to do it.' "
So he did _ with a few inches to spare and not even grazing the bar.
"It was the best I've ever felt on a jump," he said. "It felt good from start to finish. Perfect.
"It was the best feeling I've ever had in sports. Even playing football."
For Hicks, who signed a football scholarship to play defensive back at Fordham University in New York, the 7-foot limit was 4 inches more than his personal best, which he cleared last year in the regular season.
It was also 6 inches better than his third-place leap at the state meet when he was a sophomore.
"I don't know how to explain it other than I was feeling it," he said. "To do this surprised me. To do it so early in the season really surprises me."
Now he hopes he can improve on last season's disappointment at the state meet, where he missed making the top six after failing to clear 6-6.
"I'm more confident now (after topping 7-0)," said Hicks, who also plays centerfield for the Knights' baseball team. "This makes me feel like I can do anything.
"I almost feel invincible."
THE HICKS TOP 10
Top 10 things Reshard Hicks
can jump over.
10. Your standard SUV.
9. Don King without mussing his hair.
8. A really, really, really tall candle stick (with flame lit).
7. An elf on stilts.
6. A horse.
5. The fake Stonehenge in the movie Spinal Tap.
4. A privacy fence.
3. A cow.
2. The gorillas in front of State Vacuum on Kennedy Blvd.
1. Yao Ming (if he crouches a little).