By Rubin E. Grant
On the next to last weekend of May, Angelica Vines was sitting around wondering what to do next.
“I don’t know what to do with myself because I’m usually at the track,” Vines said.
A few days earlier, the Vestavia Hills senior had capped a brilliant high school track career by finishing fourth in the 2022 Alabama High School Athletic Association Heptathlon Championship at Hoover High School.
That was 10 days after Vines had performed spectacularly in the AHSAA Class 7A outdoor track and field meet at the Gulf Shores Sports Complex. She established personal records in four events, while winning one, finishing second in two others and taking third in another, helping Vestavia Hills finish as runners-up in girls track for the first time in school history.
Vines won the long jump, reaching 17 feet, 11 inches, was second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 45.43 seconds and second in the javelin with a throw of 129-8. She was third in the 100 hurdles, clocking 14.99 seconds.
“I had my ups and downs, but in the end I got into a rhythm,” Vines said.
Throughout her career at Vestavia Hills — she lettered for five years — Rebels track coach Brett Huber had difficulty deciding what events to have Vines compete in because he didn’t want to overwork her in any given meet.
“She’s a talented athlete and she excels in everything she does,” Huber said. “We could have put her in six events, but we didn’t want to tire her out because some of the events are so close together.”
As a freshman and sophomore, Vines’ top event was the hurdles, but during her junior and senior years she became a champion long jumper. She not only won gold in the long jump in the state outdoor meet this spring, but also in the state indoor meet in February, clearing 16 feet, 11.5 inches.
“What’s special about her is she’s not boisterous, but she works hard and shows up ready to compete,” Huber said. “I describe her as a quiet competitor.”
“I agree with that description,” she said. “I can be more vocal, but I am usually just intense and all business.”
Vines competed in the state heptathlon for the first time. She had competed in the pentathlon in the eighth grade.
“It was kind of fun and stressful,” Vines said. “I worked really hard. Finishing fourth was better than I expected.”
Vines totaled 4,224 points. Northridge’s Rashni Walker won with 4,981 points, followed by St. Paul’s Episcopal’s Janie Ford with 4,797 points and Austin’s Makenzie Harris with 4,341 points.
Athleticism Runs in the Family
The 5-foot-8 Vines comes from an athletic family. Her dad, Tim Vines, played baseball at Auburn and now is president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. Her mother, Antoinette “Toni” Vines, was a cheerleader and ran track in high school and is the founder and president of Mercy Deliverance Ministries. Her sister, Hannah Vines, competed in volleyball and track for the Rebels before graduating in 2019 and is now a student at Auburn.
Angelica Vines is a two-sport athlete. She was a standout outside hitter on the Rebels’ volleyball team and served as a team captain during the 2021 season. She was named to the 2021 All-OTM team and Super All-State first team after recording 367 kills, 194 digs and 35 aces.
Even so, track is her first love, but she is still deciding whether to compete in college. At the moment, she plans to attend the New York School of Interior Design.
“We have a family friend who is an interior designer, so I grew up with it and saw what was involved and decided that’s what I want to do,” Vines said. “But I also have reached out to a few schools, Ohio State, Cincinnati and Florida State, about track, so I’ll see what happens.”