MISHAWAKA -

Robert Lambert leaped onto the state scene last year, literally, by placing 11th in the state track and field meet as a junior.

"I like the sport because it's just pure athleticism," Lambert says. "It's just one person going against another."

Since taking up the sports as a freshman ,Lambert has transformed from a kid with little interest in the sport, to someone who can't get enough.

"Not many kids will come to you and say 'Hey, did you see the Big Ten outdoor championships? Did you see that high jumper's technique?'," Mishiawaka boys track coach Kyle Shaw says of Lambert's zest for the sport. "He's one of those kids. He's passionate about track."

As his senior season begins, Lambert is sharing that passion with his younger teammates. He coaches the less experienced jumpers on the Mishawaka track team, a move that benefits both teacher & student.

"I think you learn the best when you have to teach," Shaw says of the decision to have Lambert instruct younger jumpers.

"He's taking a mentor role and teaching those kids and in doing so, he's becoming a better learner himself of his craft."

So, how much better can he get? He's set his sights high.

"Hopefully (jump) 7-feet", Lambert says. The Indiana state meet record is 7 feet, one and one quarter inch (set in 1977 & 1980).

Lambert has gotten interest from smaller schools about competing in college. But the 3.2 GPA senior has decided to attend Indiana University, and major in biology with a concentration in pre-dental, and attempt to walk onto the track & field team.

In the meantime, he's crystal clear about want he wants to accomplish before he leaves high school this spring.

"I want to win State!"