Cahokia High School senior Chris Moore is poised to jump on his dreams.
One of the state's top combination long jumpers/triple jumpers, Moore dreams of winning a state title or two later this spring. He also dreams of competing in track and field at the college level and graduating with a degree in biology with the hope of one day becoming a veterinarian.
He also dreams of being a part of history with the 2013 Cahokia track teams.
With almost all of the major contributors remaining from a Comanches squad that has won consecutive Class 2A state titles, the possibility of a rare three-peat isn't openly discussed, but it's certainly within reach.
"That would mean a lot, because it's something we've never done," Moore said. "To be able to say I was on a team that won three straight state titles would be special.
"I think we've got a chance. With the relay teams and with guys like Trey (Story), Darren Payton, Marlon (Brady) and Ja'Mari Ward, this team is the best I've been on.''
Ward (long jump), Payton (800 meters) and Brady, the defending state champion in the 400, all should be in the running for individual state titles at O'Brien Stadium in Charleston next month. But it could be 5-foot, 6-inch, 150-pound Moore who leads the way in Cahokia's bid for its fifth state title since 2006.
A year ago, Moore placed second in the triple jump (47-feet, 4-inches) and was fifth in the long jump (22-0 1/4), scoring 13 points at state as the Cahokia thinclads edged (Glen Ellyn) Glenbard South by 11 points for the Class 2A crown.
Thus far in 2013, Moore has consistently been over 23 feet in the long jump and over 48 feet in the triple jump.
"He's (Moore) going to pop a long one. In practice, he's been over 49 feet and so I think it's just a matter of time,'' Cahokia coach Leroy Millsap said. "Honestly, I think he can place in three events at state this year -- long jump, triple jump and 300 meter hurdles.
"It's just a matter of staying healthy and being able to be at your best when it counts at the end of the year.''
Moore also could be in the running for the state title in the 300 intermediate hurdles. He posted a winning time of 38.5 seconds at the Belleville West Invitational two weeks ago, while competing against an elite field.
But for Moore, the 2012 season actually began in the fall.
Running on Millsap's Comanches' cross country team for the first time and utilizing an extensive weight program, Moore finds himself healthier and more focused than ever.
"Last year I had an injured ankle and was never able to jump as well as I can. It was frustrating for me," Moore said. "But after running cross country and then doing the work in the weight room, I'm stronger and more focused than I've ever been.''
With Ward pushing him every day in practice and also in major competitions, Moore has one of the top freshmen jumpers in the nation for a workout partner.
"It helps to have someone like Ja'Mari to work out with. And yes, he's that good,'' Moore said. "We're both really competitive, but it's a friendly competition. I want to beat him and he wants to beat me. That's the way it should be.
"There is no doubt in my mind that he has made me a better jumper this year. I'd like to think that I've done the same for him.''
Moore also excels in the classroom, where he carries a 3.4 GPA and is involved in several other activities outside of athletics.
With a promising future both academically and athletically, Moore is getting looks from several NCAA Division I schools, including Nebraska, and NAIA Division I track power Midland University in Nebraska.
Millsap said Moore will excel in college.
"Chris is a great young man. Very respectful, always with his shirt tucked in at school, excellent student and he always strives to do the right thing,'' Millsap said. "He's also very involved in the community, talking to younger kids and helping keep them on the right path.
"Is he in the same class with the great jumpers we've had here like Kali Jackson, Clyde Young and Dorian Douglas and Carl King? Maybe not yet. But I think he's going to get there. There is no doubt in my mind that he'll get there.''
Moore wants to finish his high school career on a high note.
"My goals are to be an individual state champion and help the team win a third straight state title,'' Moore said. "I think my best chance is probably in the triple jump.''