Orlandus Gamble set a new Peach Belt Conference high jump record Saturday, April 3, with a height of 2.11 meters. This was also a NCAA provisional qualifying mark. His record performance took place at the Spikes Classic in Daytona, Florida. Submitted Image/OGVisuals101.
By: Zachary C. Young, Editor-in-Chief
Junior Orlandus Gamble finished 9th at the indoor track & field NCAA Championships, with a high jump of 2.01 meters. This achievement earned him the title of All-American. Gamble joins Javon Graham and Joshua Chepkesir as the only track and field All-Americans in UNCP history. Gamble is a Redshirt Junior and a transfer from Louisburg College, a two-year junior college in Franklin County.
Gamble is thankful for his current achievement, but has his eyes set on being a national champion.
“I always want to strive for better but being an All-American feels good. A lot of people don’t reach that, so I feel grateful whether I win or not.”
Though it is his first season competing with the Braves, Gamble is vocal regarding his appreciation for his teammates here at UNCP, and their work ethic.
“I love the fact that I came to Pembroke. I am surrounded by hard-working people. I don’t have to stress about anything here. I just have to get my work done and work hard in practice,” said Gamble.
Gamble has an insatiable appetite to improve, despite his All-American status. “I’ve been at the track at 2 a.m. practicing. Whenever I remember that I am not as good as I want to be, I just go out there no matter what time it is,” said Gamble.
When the COVID-19 pandemic stopped athletics, Gamble saw many of his teammates working out on their own. He credits their dedication to his own success, calling it “motivation”.
Gamble’s coaches say his desire to be the best is a hallmark of his leadership style, and should result in continued success.
“Orlandus has grown tremendously since I have known him and is well deserving of the title of All-American. Orlandus and I both know that honor is really only a small sample of what he is going to do as an athlete and teammate. He has already jumped higher outdoors than all of indoor and is on a top-five -in the nation- 4×100 meter relay team,” said Matthew Stuck, Associate Head Coach for Track & Field and Cross Country.
In addition to the high jump, Gamble competes in the 4×100 meter, 100 meter and 60 meter dash. The UNCP 4×100 meter relay team qualified for nationals, with a time of 40.64 seconds at the Alan Connie Shamrock Invite, March 19-20.