In a one-week span, Jenna Hutchins made a $1,000 donation to Girls on the Run Northeast Tennessee and won a prestigious cross country race in Arizona.
Hutchins, who was recently named the Gatorade Tennessee Girls Track & Field Athlete of the year, was able to choose a local or national youth sports organization to receive a $1,000 grant from Gatorade through the brand’s Play It Forward program. Shortly after winning the award, Hutchins told the News & Neighbor of her decision to donate the money to Girls on the Run, and she made good on that promise during a ceremony at Fleet Feet in Johnson City on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 21.
“Girls on the Run is thrilled that Jenna would select us to receive this grant. Jenna embodies the mission of our organization and is a great role model to the girls in our region,” said Becky Dunkelberger, Council Director of Girls on the Run Northeast Tennessee. “These funds will go a long way to help us provide scholarships for girls to participate in our programs.”
In 2007, Girls on the Run Northeast Tennessee was established, starting with 15 girls in Johnson City. Over the past 12 years, with the help of our volunteers, sites, and sponsors, Girls on the Run has served over 10,000 girls throughout the northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia region.
The following Friday, Hutchins was in Arizona competing in the elite Nike Desert Twilight Festival race. Hutchins won the race at the Casa Grande Sports Complex with ease by traversing the 5K course in 16:38.97, outpacing the runner-up finisher by over 10 seconds.
Hutchins became the first girl from outside Colorado or Arizona to win the race outright. Her time was the second fastest posted by a sophomore in a 5K race dating back to 2006.