The squeal Melissa Merrill let out after she cleared the bar in the high jump Saturday said it all.
The Hanford senior soared over 5 feet, 8 inches, setting a school record and bringing home a Pasco Invite title all in one fell swoop at Edgar Brown Stadium.
"I've been trying to get it for a couple of weeks and I finally did," she said. "I'm really excited if you can't tell."
Merrill held the school record of 5-6 coming in, tied with recently graduated Veronica Bradley -- who is now at UC San Diego -- and Taymussa Miller, who is at Eastern Washington.
Merrill and Bradley tied for seventh place at the Class 3A state meet last season in the high jump, but Saturday it was Merrill's turn to put her name atop the list at Hanford High.
"I knew I could make it," she said. "I just told myself I was going to make it, over and over and I did.
"I think I can go higher. The sky is the limit."
Merrill isn't your average high jumper, participating in no offseason training. She competes in swimming in the winter and advanced to the state meet, taking third in the 100 free. She didn't wrap up the swim season until the beginning of January, then took a couple of weeks off.
She competed in the Simplot Games in Pocatello, Idaho -- a premier indoor high school meet -- as not only her first meet of the season, but also the first time she had jumped since last season's state meet, and she has slowly gotten back into the groove she had last season.
"High jumping is something you never lose once you have the technique down," she said. "It is like riding a bike. You get the technique and then you just build on that. Strengthening through workouts is how you go higher."
That weight training is something her jumps coach thinks could push her into another stratosphere at the college level, for now though he was just proud of his latest protg.
"I really believed she would jump a school record today," Clay Lewis said. "For her to win is a dream. Everyone loves her, just a great kid.
"I got a trophy here in '69 and I always want the kids to do better than me."
Merrill has had some talks with BYU about possibly jumping in college for the Cougars. She was told if she cleared 5-8 or 5-9 she would have a chance at a scholarship, though she isn't quite certain about all of that yet.
"I think it would be an awesome experience," she said, "but I'm not sure if I want to put in all the time."
For now, though, she can be content with winning a Pasco Invite title and putting her name along on top of the record books.