NAMPA No one would have blamed Rolando Trammel for sitting out the final event of Saturday's Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Championships.
The Boise State senior had already competed in five events, scoring team points in four of them. Still, he begged coach J.W. Hardy for a spot on the powerful 4x400-meter relay team.
"I knew I was a little bit too tired, but I said, 'Coach, I can run it,' " Trammel said. "I was like, 'Coach, put me in the 4x4. I've got to run the 4x4.' "
Hardy let him run - and the Broncos earned a convincing win.
Trammel set season bests in his five individual events - 60-meter dash, 60 hurdles, long jump, triple jump and high jump. In addition to the relay win, he finished second in the triple jump and hurdles, fifth in the long jump and seventh in the high jump, earning a meet-high 24.5 points.
"He's been a utility guy his entire career. He's a guy that I know we can put in a lot of different places ... because he is so versatile in what he does," Hardy said.
The coach made one concession to the tightly compressed schedule: He removed Trammel from the heptathlon, saving him from seven more grueling events.
Trammel excels in the hurdles during the outdoor season, having reached the NCAA preliminaries each season in the 400, but prefers his current jack-of-all-trades role.
"One day I want to specialize in something," he said. "But, being on a team, I'd rather have a ring than my own 'going to national' ring."
So he volunteered to do everything, including the triple jump, which Trammel hasn't competed in this season. He jumped 48 feet, 7.2 inches in the meet.
The key to Trammel's versatility: simplicity.
"It's learning that one thing," he said. "Just remembering the most important movement of each event. Each event there's one thing you've got to do right and you'll have a decent jump or race."
In the triple jump, for example, Trammel focused on keeping each leap even.
"I focused on 16-16-16 and that's what I did," Trammel said.
That keep-it-simple approach was enough for him to earn All-WAC honors in four events and second-team status in three more in 2011. But the move to the Mountain West was "an eye-opener," Trammel said.
He placed in only the hurdles among individual events at last year's meet.
Said Hardy: "Last year, he had a bit of a wake-up call. This year it was like, 'Listen. If you really want to go out and have a chance to put points on the board in those events, we need to practice.' So he worked on these events throughout the season to give himself a chance to do what he did."
Despite Trammel's production over the weekend, the Albuquerque native instead had to watch his hometown Lobos celebrate the men's championship. New Mexico recruited Trammel for track and as a football wide receiver, but he wanted to get away from home and away from the gridiron.
"I've still got love for football," he said. "But track is where it's at."
And all over the track is where Trammel is at.
Brian Murphy: 377-6444,Twitter: @MurphsTurph