Jaron Brooks is constantly looking upward.
The Henry Clay senior-to-be won the high jump Sunday at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., setting a personal record of 7 feet, 1.5 inches. That after winning the New Balance Indoors with a 7-1 mark in April and leading the Blue Devils to a team state title in May by claiming individual medals in the high jump, long jump and triple jump.
Brooks, 16, has his sights set higher. He wants to reach at least 7-4 next season and again sweep the New Balance Nationals.
Next week he'll be at the 16-17-year-old World Youth Track and Field Trials in Lisle, Ill. A good outing there will net him a spot on the U.S. team for the IAAF World Youth Championships held next month in Cali, Colombia.
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He said he'll continue to compete in the triple jump in addition to his signature event, but will stop doing the long jump.
"Long's just kind of different," Brooks said. "Triple and high have subtle similarities in the way you propel yourself. Long (goes) against the muscle memory you want to build up with the other two."
About the only thing Brooks hasn't placed attention to is where he'll be going to college in 2016.
"I don't think that far in the future. I probably should," he said. "I'm probably gonna take it out as far as I can because I haven't even started thinking about it.
"I don't know what the deadline is. I hope it's far down the road."
Brooks won his first international competition earlier this month at the Caribbean Scholastic Invitational in Havana, Cuba. His mark of 6-11.5 there tied him for 10th in his age group according to the most recent IAAF rankings. His Greensboro score would place him among the top three worldwide.
The Cuba trip was Brooks' first outside the country as well as his first time on a plane.
"That was more spooky and scary than going to (another) country," he said. "Flying just felt like a really cheap and bad roller coaster."
It's likely many more flights are in the high-flier's future.