By Scott Herpst
LaFayette High School added a new name to its list of NCAA Division I athletes this past Thursday as senior Winston Tramble signed to join the track team at Tennessee State University in Nashville.
Tramble will be the fourth LHS athlete to play NCAA Division I sports in past five years, joining wrestler Preston McCalmon (Arizona State) and football players Evan Swindall (Mississippi) and Dimitri Miles (Troy).
A football player and a wrestler during his time with the Ramblers, Tramble runs with the LaFayette track team in the spring in addition to the work he puts in with the Chattanooga Jets, a highly-successful AAU club based in the Scenic City that has seen numerous alumni go on to sign college track scholarships all over the country.
“This is nothing but a blessing,” said Tramble during a ceremony at LHS. “I couldn’t do any of this without God, my family, my friends, and my coaches, both high school and AAU. I’ve been running track for going on close to 10 years now, and I’m happy to be able to go on to that next level and compete.”
Tramble said he became familiar with the Tigers, an Ohio Valley Conference member, in the past couple of years after competing in meets in Nashville for the Jets under Coaches Michael Gadson and Donelle Dunning.
“I liked the campus and I liked the track,” he said. “I also got to interact with some of the coaches and the people on the team. The coaches showed a lot of love for me so I feel very comfortable going up there.”
Tramble said it is likely that he will be tackling the grueling decathlon while at Tennessee State. The two-day, 10-discipline event includes the 100, 400, and 1500-meter runs, the shot put, discus, javelin, pole vault, long jump, and high jump, and 110-meter high hurdles.
“I’m not specifically strong in any one event, but I think I’m pretty good in a bunch of events,” Tramble explained. “I think I can go out do some damage to some teams. I know it’s not the easiest of events, but I like challenges. I’m looking forward to it.”
LaFayette High track coach Tommy Swanson said Tramble has the athletic ability needed to do well in the event.
“He’s been working on decathlon events with his AAU coaches, so that’s what he’s shooting for (in college), and I think he’s versatile enough to do it,” he said. “He ran sprints and did jumping events for us last year, and he’s doing the throwing events this year, and doing very well with a win or two already this season. I think he has the potential to get even better.”
Tramble says he plans to study mechanical engineering.