Albemarle’s Currie earns 1A title at Saturday’s state finals track meet

Published 9:13 am Monday, May 23, 2022

He had dominated the event for the entire season, and at Saturday’s 1A state finals meet, Albemarle’s Ali Currie delivered the gold medal for the Bulldogs.

Ali Currie

The Albemarle senior posted a distance of 46-feet, 8-inches in the triple jump, nearly 3.5 feet longer than the next competitor, Union Academy’s Ezra Martin (43-2.75).

Currie said the triple jump “comes naturally” to him, adding “when I first started in track, I felt I was better at the high jump. (With) triple, I notice I’ve made a lot of progress in such little time. I focused on it because it felt better.”

The senior credited his older brother, Alvin Currie II, who also did triple jump for Albemarle, and the Bulldogs’ head track coach, Bernard Henry.

Currie said finishing with another state championship, his second in triple jump in as many seasons, “means a lot because I said was going to do it before I actually did it. It was all part of the plan.”

He added he plans to walk on at North Carolina A&T next year, the school which hosted the state finals meet.

Henry said Currie is one of the hardest working individuals he has worked with in his 27 years of coaching track.

“When he’s focused on something and wants to improve, he pushes himself. (His leadership) rubs off on others that make them push themselves to get better,” Henry said. “He’s very quiet, but he’s very, very competitive.”

Henry said Currie’s family is to credit for his being a compassionate young man.

Currie also placed second in the high jump, finishing just behind Tarboro’s Jerome Bridgers at a height of 6-feet-6. The senior placed third in the long jump with a distance of 21-3.5, just six inches behind Union Academy’s Martin (21-9.25).

In other results, Albemarle’s Slay Jackson took second place for the Bulldogs in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 41.76 seconds. Robbinsville’s Brock Adams won the event with a time of 40.43 seconds.

Dre Davis placed 11th for Albemarle in the 100-meter dash (11.71) and C.J. Ellis finished seventh in the 300-meter hurdles (43.43).

The men’s 4×100-meter relay team of Jaylen Pinkney, Jaliq McRae, Ellis and Davis finished eighth in 45.05 seconds, while the team of Davis, Isaiah Medley, Reyli Alvarez and Vincent Gregory were 13th in the 4×400-meter relay. The 4×200-meter relay team of Pinkney, Jackson, Ellis and Davis were sixth in 1:33.12. McRae also finished 15th in the long jump (34-7.75).

Amari Baldwin placed second in the triple jump for the Bulldogs with a distance of 35-9.5, four feet behind the winner, Zoie Shuler of Robbinsville. Baldwin also placed sixth in the women’s 100-meter dash in 12.85. The Albemarle freshman was sixth in the 200-meter dash (26.75), and was a member of the 4×100-meter relay team, along with Anautica Meaders, Abigail Clayton and Aryjha Baldwin, who placed fourth with a time of 51.41.

Clayton placed fifth in the 400-meter dash in 1:02.28, while Aryjha Baldwin was 12th in the 100-meter hurdles and a member of  the 4×200-meter team, along with Mary Grace Krol, Tamiyah Sellers and Diamond Smith who finished ninth in 1:53.49. Krol was 10th in the long jump as well (14-8.5).

Other Stanly schools represented at the 1A meet included Gray Stone. The Knights’ Emberleigh Pauley-Brown finished eighth in the 1,600-meter run (5:58.15) and the 3,200 meter run (13:32.49). Anaston Trexler placed seventh in the 300-meter hurdles (52.26) and Katherine Cupples was 13th in the long jump (13-5.75) and triple jump (30-1.25).

Gray Stone’s Autumn Misenheimer was 10th in the shotput (28-9) and Mallory Hill placed 1th in the discus throw (71).

South Stanly was also represented at the state meet by Joshawa Huneycutt, who finished second in the 1,600-meter run (4:32.09), fourth in the 3,200-meter (10:16) and 13th in the 800-meter run (2:20.18).

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored four times by the North Carolina Press Association.

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