Jenna Hutchins Breaks American U20 Outdoor 5K Record

The Tennessee native, 16, broke her third national record in less than six months, ushering in an exceptional performance in South Carolina for 5,000 meters

Photo Credit: Perry McLeod/SC Runners

    The Full 5K Replay

    Jenna Hutchins isn't finished breaking records. 

    The Johnson City Science Hill High School sophomore broke the American U20 outdoor 5,000 meter record on Friday at the Five & Dimes Athletics Meeting in Columbia, South Carolina, hitting a jaw-dropping time of 15:34.47 to win among a field of high school and professional women. 

    That mark is exceptional for a variety of reasons: Not only is it a new American U20 outdoor record, but it also sets a new overall high school national record, surpassing the previous mark of 15:37.12, which North Rockland graduate Katelyn Tuohy set indoors in 2018.

    Hutchins, who is still just 16 years old, also set a new national high school outdoor record, moving past May Cain's former high school best of 15:45.46, which she performed in 2013. She is now the ninth high schooler to break 16 minutes on a track, either indoors or outdoors. 

    Hutchins settled into a consistent pace in the early going, leading through her first 1,000 meters in 3:05.39. By 3,000 meters, she had settled into a routine, hitting her 400 meter intervals with laps no slower than 76.24 seconds as she clocked a time of 9:21.18. Hutchins ran her last 800 meters in 2:25.60.

    The Johnson City, Tennessee-based teenager now stands No. 3 all-time in the American U20 record books, just behind Sarah Disanza's indoor mark of 15:20.57 from 2014 and Anna Rohrer's indoor performance of 15:32.03 from 2016.

    She is now one of five women in the American U20 category to ever run faster than 15:40 for 5K.This week, she was named the MileSplit50 Runner of the Year for the 2020 season.

    This is the third overall record Hutchins has set in 2020. 

    In October, she became the first high school girls athlete to break 16 minutes for 5K in cross country, logging a new national best time of 15:58.42. 

    A few months earlier, in August, she set a new junior national class record for 3,200 meters, posting a new career best mark of 9:49.83 at the Music City Distance Carnival.

    Hutchins has now become the only high school girls athlete to ever break 16 minutes in the 5K more than once across the cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field season. 

    Pinecrest (NC) senior Carmen Alder, a BYU signee, was third overall in the field, running a time of 16:37.55.

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    * Stay tuned on Milesplit as South Carolina MileSplit editor John Olson will have more from the scene, including a post-race interview and descriptions of the race.