Casey Jackson was confident it would happen.
With a jump of 5-feet, 5-inches on his first day of practice, the Craig Middle School student was 1 inch short of the eighth-grade boys high jump record.
At his first meet, Jackson tied it. On April 28, he broke it.
"We already knew what it was, and I didn't get it at the last track meet," Jackson said. "I really wanted it, and then I got it."
He jumped 5-9 at the meet in Rangely, which also was against Meeker. Jackson beat out previous record-holders Mac Zimmerman (1994), Brad Hurd (2000) and Daniel Tague (2001).
"It's kind of cool to get a record and get your name up on the board," Jackson said.
The board, which hangs by the CMS auditorium, carries the name of someone familiar. Jackson's mother, Julie Baker -- then Julie Severson -- still holds the seventh- and eighth-grade girls 800-meter dash records from 1980 and 1981.
His father, Mike Jackson, also was a successful high jumper.
"It must be a family genetic thing," CMS jump coach Diana Booco said. "He's got that natural ability."
Jackson also plays basketball and football. He competes in the 800-meter medley, 800 relay and 400 relay races in track, as well.
"I like track because when you run, you feel the wind blowing through your hair," Jackson said. "And I like to land on the mat, the comfortable mat. It's fun to land on."
Booco said aside from Jackson's ability, he's a strong member of the CMS team.
"He's a pleasure to work with," she said. "He puts in the extra time. Instead of giving up, he keeps at it."
Booco said if Jackson can nail his technique, he'll be jumping higher than 6 feet in his high school days.
"I see high hopes. He's just a tremendous athlete," Booco said. "With his work ethic and attitude, I think he's going to succeed at anything he does."
Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or firstname.lastname@example.org.