On Thursday, Science Hill (TN) High School's Jenna Hutchins found a little bit of redemption.
The prolific runner, who was named the No. 1 athlete in the latest MileSplit50 national rankings, left no doubt at the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Division I state championships, scoring a blistering time of 16:30.84, a 90-second win and her second overall title in three seasons at Sanders Ferry Parkway in Hendersonville.
Among elite-level girls runners in 2020, Hutchins now has the most official sub-17 performances for 5K, eclipsing both Brynn Brown and Sydney Thorvaldson, who have both netted four -- Thorvaldson, however, has two performances at elevation that would convert down to sub-17, technically giving her six.
"Last year when I was sick, it was frustrating," said Hutchins, who finished third in 2019 before going on to win Foot Locker South and finish fifth at Foot Locker Nationals. "so I was really excited and really motivated to come out here today and just give it my all, for myself and my team and just really be able to get that state championship back."
Hutchins' performance was her best at a state championship over her career, though her 2018 title came on a different course, at Percy Warner Park in Nashville. It also marked her fifth sub-17-minute performance and her fourth under 16:40 specifically.
After domianting on a rain-soaked course ar Regions on Oct. 29 and picking up a 171 speed rating, Hutchins landed a similar mark on Thursday, generating a 168 from TullyRunners. That closed off a regular season that saw all six of her performances net over 150 scores, for an overall average of 161.5.
For more information on the Tennessee state championships, stay tuned for the Weekend Rewind.