Smiths Station’s Alonie Sutton surprised even herself at the Class 7A state track meet in May.
Sutton, who entered the meet with two previous state titles, was shooting to hit 40 feet in the triple jump. Once she was done, she was surprised to find she’d not only hit that mark, but surpassed it by hitting 41.
Sutton’s effort in the triple jump gave her a new state record and one of two state titles in her junior year. Thanks to those championship-caliber performances, Sutton has repeated as the All-Bi-City Girls Track Athlete of the Year.
“It was very fun,” Sutton said of her efforts at state. “That was actually was my goal, to go in and get (two state titles), but I didn’t expect to get the jump that I had. That made me happy to do that.”
Sutton captured her other state title in the long jump, an event she finished second in one year ago. Along with these two events, she also competes on Smiths Station’s 4x400-meter relay team, the 4x100 squad and occasionally the 100 and 200 dash.
Sutton explained how much time she and her teammates dedicated throughout the year to make the most of their state appearances.
“When we had breaks (from school), it wasn’t really a break,” Sutton said. “Spring break, I worked out that whole break so we could get ready for things like state.“
Sutton was part of a strong meet for Smiths Station, which grabbed sixth place in Class 7A. Sutton’s victories were made even more special by the fact teammate Kennedy Brown took second in both events.
Sutton’s athletic endeavors have caught the attention of several Division I colleges. She has her fair share of scholarship offers, including ones from LSU, Arkansas, Mississippi State and Iowa. Sutton is still going through the recruiting process but revealed she has a solid plan on deciding where she’ll go.
“If track doesn’t work out professionally -- which I pray that it does -- I want to be a dermatologist,” Sutton said. “I’ve looked at what programs they have, too. When I visit the school, I want to be comfortable.”
Sutton said her goal is to break 19 feet in the long jump in her senior season and stay around 41 feet in the triple jump. In the end, her big moments at state as a junior validated what can be a long and trying track season.
“When you’re working out, it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh. Why am I doing all of this?’” Sutton said. “When you do stuff like that and you accomplish things after all that work, you know that’s what you did it for.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports