One thing that New Brighton boys track and field coach Matt Suber was quick to point out about DiQuan Ambrose is that he's versatile.
He said he can put his senior standout anywhere in the Lions lineup and that he "usually does well in every event."
Though proven to be the aforementioned -- and then some -- Ambrose hasn't been paying much attention to what he brings in that aspect. His one and only focus for the season is to qualify for the PIAA championships later this month.
"He just fell out of the top five last year [in the triple jump]," Suber said. "He finished sixth and has been somewhat disappointed since."
Although his highest placing in last year's championships was in the triple jump, it's in the high jump where Ambrose would appear to be a legitimate threat to win a WPIAL title at today's championship meet at Baldwin High School. He has cleared 6 feet 6 inches in that event, the best of any Class AA high jumper.
Last Tuesday at the WPIAL Class AA Southern Qualifier, Ambrose qualified in four separate events for today's WPIAL championship meet. He will compete in the high jump, long jump and triple jump as well as the 400-meter relay event.
He has also turned in the best triple jump -- shared with Aliquippa's Malik Shagog -- in Class AA with a leap of 44-31/2.
"He was so close last year and that's proven to be his biggest motivator thus far," Suber said. "He just missed [qualifying for states]. And I truly believe the fact that he doesn't want to feel that disappointment again will push him over the top this year."
Bearing in mind that in some years, his best high jump has been good enough to take home a WPIAL title, Ambrose has committed to doing what's necessary to get ready.
"I've been doing my best to prepare myself in practice," Ambrose said. "Taking the right steps, making sure my form is right, and just focusing on the little things. It's going to be [a challenge] but I'm working on it."
Suber is confident that what he described as "true natural athleticism" from Ambrose will prove to be instrumental in his success down the line. He's watched his star closely this season and likes what he sees.
"We have a point system that we use to determine letters," he said. "DiQuan has accumulated anywhere between 150 and 160 points. The next person behind him hasn't even broken 100."
That's a numerical testament to Ambrose's versatility.
"I feel pretty confident anywhere coach puts me," Ambrose said. "I know that if I give it my all, good things are going to come from it."
Ambrose competes in the maximum four events allowed per meet on a regular basis, according to his coach.
"If he were allowed to compete in six, instead of four, I would throw him in there and know that he could hold his own," he said.
Also a letterman in football and basketball, this 6-foot-2 multisport athlete works year-round for big moments in his top sport, track and field.
"He always competes at a high level," Suber said. "He puts himself in situations in which he can be successful."
He'd like to bring all of that to the winner's platform today.
"Winning a WPIAL title is something I've always wanted to do," Ambrose said. "But, I really want to qualify for states."