Area Boys Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year: Edenton's Pryce concludes standout prep career a champion
By Malcolm Shields
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
EDENTON — Entering his final high school track and field season, John A. Holmes’ Aaron Pryce had experienced almost every winning moment an athlete could have in the sport at the prep level.
From individual state, regional and conference championships, one of the achievements missing from Pryce’s resume was a team state championship.
Pryce and the Aces were able to accomplish that feat this spring.
His overall impact on the John A. Holmes boys’ track and field team and his success during the season made Pryce the selection as the Daily Advance’s Area Athlete of the Year.
Pryce, who becomes a two-time Area Athlete of the Year selection, won the Albemarle Athletic Conference championship in the boys’ 110-meter hurdles, the 300-meter hurdles, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 1A East Regional and state championships in the 300-meter hurdles, was a member of the NCHSAA Class 1A East Regional and state championship 4x200 meter relay team along with the 4x100 meter relay team that won the state championship, but finished second at the East Regional.
Pryce acknowledged that being recognized as the area’s top athlete was a blessing.
Before the state championship meet at North Carolina A&T State in Greensboro, Pryce was dealing with what he said was a pulled muscle in his leg.
Pryce was slowed during the tail end of the NCHSAA Class 1A East Regional at John A. Holmes May 10.
Pryce was ready to compete at the 1A state championship May 18.
At the state championship meet, Pryce along with Nakevin Hill, Zakeem Brooks and Kentreaz Coston won the boys’ 4x100 meter relay championship.
The Aces posted a time of 42.14 seconds to edge out second place, and defending state champion, Pender High School, which posted a time of 42.44 seconds.
After earning second place in the event last season, the Edenton 4x100 relay team was able to win gold this spring.
In the boys’ 4x200 meter relay final, the Edenton group of Pryce, Brooks, Coston and Josiah Carter won the state championship with a time of 1:28.70 to defeat Pender’s 4x200 meter relay team that posted a time of 1:29.26.
Edenton won the state championship in the 4x200 meter relay for the second consecutive season.
Pryce said that it was a blessing to win gold with his teammates on the relays.
He added that his teammates had talked about defending the 4x200 meter relay state championship title.
Pryce noted that there was motivation to win in the 4x100 relay for Hill, who did not win a gold medal last year, but got silver.
“I made a promise that I’m going to get him the 4x100,” Pryce said.
Pryce, who has roots in New York, acknowledged that it was special to end his high school career with state championships with his teammates.
“Since I came to North Carolina, it has been me and them,” Pryce said. “It’s a blessing and something we can talk about when we get older.”
In the boys’ 300-meter hurdles final, Pryce was in a tight race with Angelo Scionti of Andrews High School.
Near the end of the race, Scionti fell to the track. Pryce finished the race to win gold.
“I felt like stopping during the race,” Pryce said.
Pryce noted that way the race ended was shocking.
Pryce went back to where Scionti fell and assisted Scionti across the finish line.
For John A. Holmes boys’ track and field coach Tamika Nixon, Pryce’s act of kindness wasn’t a surprise.
“That’s the kind of kid he is,” she said.
Pryce’s display of sportsmanship was captured by a photographer with NCRunners.com.
Incredible sportsmanship by @JohnAHolmesHS senior Aaron Pryce. Competitor Angelo Scionti fell leading with 2 hurdles to go. Pryce becomes state champion, but helps Scionti over the finish line before any celebration.— NCRunners (@NCRunners) May 19, 2019
📸 @dunston_photos pic.twitter.com/W9kdArn7wY
The moment of sportsmanship was shared and liked over multiple social media platforms.
“I didn’t think it would blow up that big,” Pryce said. “I was helping out somebody because they fell. I was grateful that I could help him up.”
Pryce and the Aces were able to win the NCHSAA Class 1A team state championship with a team score of 40 points.
“I told them, ‘This is what we are going for,’” Nixon said she told the team. “I believed in them. All they had to do was believe in what I was telling them. It felt great to see them do it.”
Last year, the Edenton boys finished tied for second place at the state meet.
Pryce acknowledged that it was sweet to win the team state championship.
Nixon noted that Pryce was a pleasure to work with and Pryce is like another son to her.
With his prep career over, Pryce acknowledged that he is able to look back on what he accomplished.
Pryce, a senior, credited the coaching he received from Nixon during his career; noting that Nixon is like a mom to him.
“She helped out a lot and pushed me to my limits,” he said.
Pryce is set to move on the college ranks as he will run for the Wingate University men’s track and field program.