NEW ORLEANS (February 15, 2019) – A Los Angeles sophomore business major is ready to redeem himself this track season after a disappointing finish at the NAIA Championships last year, when he failed to record a mark at the triple jump.
Dillard’s track team prepares to kick off its season March 2 at the Southeastern Strawberry Relays.
Jovan “Jojo” Roaches-Lambey ran track at Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, and he participates in the long jump, triple jump and sometimes the 200-meter here at Dillard. Lambey won both the long and triple jump events at the 2018 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships in April.
He also was named the GCAC Field Athlete of the Week after his runner-up performance at the Southern Miss Invitational in the triple jump. Lambey won the triple jump at the William Carey Tune Up in May 2018, jumping 45 feet, 1.5 inches or 13.75 meters – just 3 meters shy of the NAIA record.
Although Lambey came up short in the end, he expressed high hopes for the upcoming season.
“My goal this season is to break the school record, whatever it is. I don’t really know what it is, but I know I am close,” said Lambey.
Bleu Devils’ Head Coach Derek Gay said he believes in Lambey’s leadership qualities and abilities.
“When he breaks the school record, and I think he will because we have this year and next, but regardless of how well he performs, we’re always trying to get better,” said Gay.
Gay said he’s also confident Lambey will return to the NAIA Championships: “In my opinion, he’s going back; he’s a national-caliber athlete.”
Lambey’s teammates and coaches count on him to help others succeed as well.
“He’s a great teammate,” said Gay. “If people need to be stretched before jumping or things like that… [He’s always] helping the younger guys get marks if I’m not there.”
One of the newest members of the Bleu Devil track team is freshman Julian Williams, who attended Dorsey High with Lambey in Los Angeles. He said he views Lambey as an older brother figure and close friend.
Williams referred to Lambey as a “lead by example” type of person and said he isn’t very vocal “but will answer any questions that someone has” and will not “sugarcoat” the facts.
“That’s one of the things that has helped me the most here so far,” said Williams.
To make sure he doesn’t suffer the same outcome this year as last, Lambey and Gay have both taken measures to properly prepare for the championships this year. Gay said that inclement weather prompted a switch in the runways last year, and Lambey wasn’t accustomed to the shorter runway.
“We took off from the long board, but the runway wasn’t long enough,” he said. So this season, Gay said the team is “practicing from the short board” in case the situation reoccurs.