By Marty Gordon
One of the area’s top high school swimmers will continue his career at Virginia Military Institute (VMI) as this past week Radford’s Hampton Wohlford signed a letter-of-intent in Radford’s gymnasium in front of family, friends, and teammates.
Wohlford is the 2022 champ in the 100-yard Butterfly and is a member of the 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relay teams.
At VMI, Wohlford will be a part of the historical military program, one of the reasons he chose the Lexington, Va., school.
“I wanted to do Navy ROTC in college so that I could prepare myself for the military,” he said. “I was deciding between Virginia Tech and VMI. After I visited VMI, I felt like it had a lot more structure than another school would have. I also get the opportunity to swim there and not at Virginia Tech.”
Virginia Military Institute is a public senior military college. It was founded in 1839 as America’s first state military college and is the oldest public senior military college in the United States. The school currently has an enrollment of 1,685 students.
All of the school’s sports teams compete in NCAA Division I, and all but four compete in the Southern Conference (the exceptions being men’s and women’s swimming and diving in the America East Conference).
Wohlford was part of three-straight state Class 2 team champions at RHS. “I hope to drop time in all my events,” he said. “I also want to try and get pool records at their new pool and maybe even team records. I also hope to contribute for the team in scoring at the meets and help out in relays.”
Wohlford hopes to major in mechanical engineering.
The former state Virginia champ thinks the military aspect will keep his life on track and keep him away from distractions. After being commissioned in the Navy, he hopes to serve on board submarines.