by Torchbearer Staff September 17, 2018
Numbering more than 5,200, this fall’s freshman class is the largest in recent history and is teeming with impressive students who all chose UT for different reasons. Get to know two new CCI Vols.
Life is full of hard decisions. For Alonie Sutton, giving up music as well as basketball, a sport she had played since third grade, to focus on track and field was one of those tough decisions. Fortunately, her sacrifice paid off and led her to an easy decision—coming to Tennessee.
“UT was different from the rest of the schools I had in mind,” says the Smiths Station, Alabama, native. “I wanted to go somewhere that I would be comfortable, and I definitely got that feeling at UT.”
Sutton will compete in long jump and triple jump at Tennessee, two events in which she holds the Alabama state record (42-5 in triple jump and 19-09.50 in long jump). She says she is most excited for the new level of competition.
“I know it will be a challenge, but I’m ready to be challenged on that next level,” she says. Sutton’s new goal is to make it to the SEC championships and the NCAA tournament during her first season at Tennessee, but overall she hopes at the end of the year to be a better jumper and a better person.
While Sutton is a little nervous about the coming year (athletics and academics), she says she’s learned that she isn’t successful when she puts too much pressure on herself. “The more you practice and work hard at something, it’s just going to show.”
Through it all, Sutton says she’ll look to her mother, Trecia Pryor, for the support she needs. While Pryor was a little apprehensive about her daughter coming to Tennessee at first, she told Sutton it was her choice, and she would support that choice. “She’ll probably be here at every single track meet,” Sutton says.
In the long term, Sutton hopes to make track her profession. But if it doesn’t work out, she would like to stay close to athletics as a sports broadcaster.
“My major is journalism. I love writing, I love video, I love figuring out how to put things together so they flow smoothly for people to watch.”
Sutton was so excited to start her time on Rocky Top that she leaped right in to summer classes. “I graduated from high school two days before I got here,” she says. “I’m just so thankful the coaches gave me an opportunity to come here.”
ALWAYS A VOL: All throughout my childhood, I always pictured myself going to UT. I’ve always been very excited to be a Vol, and I’m so happy I got to make that a reality.
SCIENCE WRITING: I’m so fascinated by space and the inner workings of our universe, and I’d love to be able to help other people understand just how much is out there as well.
HER HEROES: My mom and my dad are always going to be my ultimate heroes. They’ve sacrificed so much and worked so hard to help me get here, and I’m so thankful to them. I’m not the best at giving them all the credit they deserve, but they’re the best people I’ve ever met.