Hutchins finishes fifth in national cross country meet
By Dave Ongie, News Editor
For the second year in a row, Johnson City’s Jenna Hutchins wrapped up her cross country season last Saturday at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in sunny San Diego, California.
And once again, the Science Hill standout wrapped up her season in style. Hutchins finished fifth in the nation in the prestigious meet, good enough to earn All-American honors for the second year in a row. Her top-five finish was four spots better than last year’s result, and she ran the demanding course in a time of 17:16.1, nearly 30 seconds faster than last year.
Hutchins said she entered the race with a similar strategy to the one she had last year. She didn’t want to start out too fast and run out of steam on the second loop on her way to the finish line.
“I kind of knew what to expect,” Hutchins said after the race. “I had the same strategy I had last year. I wanted to focus on getting into a good rhythm on the first loop.”
As it turned out, Hutchins was wise to avoid sticking with the leaders at the outset. Katelynne Hart set a blistering pace early, running the first mile in 5:09 before surrendering the lead to eventual race winner Zofia Dudek of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Hutchins, meanwhile, paced herself early and was able kick her way to the finish line inside the top five. For Hutchins, Saturday’s performance put an exclamation point on another stellar cross country season.
“I wanted to focus on having fun and really enjoying this experience,” she said. “I enjoy this sport so much.”