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Teen who showed up to track tryouts in skinny jeans becomes first in family to attend college after receiving ‘well-deserved full ride’

If you had taken a look at Lamont Victoria on the first day of tryouts for his high school’s track team, you might have questioned if he was serious about trying out for the team.

“I had like Air Force ones, and some skinny jeans,” the now high school senior said. “So I didn’t really know I was really doing.”

But as the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover.

Lamont is now one of the top high jumpers not only in his state, but in the country. He also accepted a full ride to North Carolina Central University, which will make him the first in his family to attend college.

William Stevens, head coach of the Prince George track team, admitted he judged Lamont upon seeing his outfit during tryouts.

“Soon as I seen that outfit I said, oh I’m cutting him,” he told WTVR.

But after the freshman easily cleared a six foot jump with skinny jeans, he returned the following day with running shoes and a pair of sweatpants for the teen.

From that day forward, Coach Stevens and Lamont developed a unique bond, one that helped Lamont both on the track and off.

“Yeah, I definitely needed some structure because I was like, I was kind of wild,” Lamont said.

His mother died when he was seven, and his father had been in and out of jail over the years.

Lamont recalled a time his coach visited his house and the lights were off.

“I try to hide it, you know, but he saw it, you know, he helped me out with and I appreciate it.”

Coach Stevens made sure Lamont was taken care of.

“When I was dropping Lamont off, and we started going to track meets, and nobody showed up, nobody showed up for at least two years,” Coach Stevens said. “My wife was really on board with us bringing Lamont in… you know, as our own.”


By February 2020, Lamont was declared state champion in the high jump, and in December 2021 he claimed the title for both Indoor and Outdoor State Titles.

“Coach looked at me and said, ‘Lamont, if you can clear this, say it,’” Victoria recalled. “I said, ‘I can clear it.’ … He was like, ‘Do it.’ I didn’t even wait.”

He cleared a bar set at 6 feet, 10 inches, a rare feat for high school jumpers. That moment sent him to number 1 in the country as well.

But perhaps his biggest achievement is his recent acceptance to North Carolina Central University where he’ll get to be coached by a former Olympic jumper.

“Tears came out of that. Tears came out of that,” Lamont said.

“I’ve kind of teared up, too,” Coach Stevens said. “Because, it’s special. A lot of track kids don’t get full offers. You know, they might get partial, but to get a full ride and well-deserved full ride.”

Lamont’s full ride is also special because it will be the first time anyone in his family attended college.

“It’s really hard when you don’t have your parents here. It gets difficult, but I have a lot of support,” Lamont said. “… I’ve had people doubt me, say I wasn’t going to be who I am now. It feels good when you can show that you’re way more than just that person.”

One of his next goals includes competing for the United States in the Olympics, and while his high school coach supports his dream, he wants him to also consider the kind of person he’ll be.

“Be a good kid. I always tell kids you know, see yourself winning first. But you know, be a good kid.”