Jenna Hutchins' XC Season Is Done, Will Enroll At BYU Early

There are always two ways to look at a situation. Runners tend to look ahead. 

And at least in the case of Jenna Hutchins, there's a lot to look forward to. 

While it's been seven months since the Science Hill (TN) High School senior last raced, a lot has happened over that stretch. In April, she committed to BYU

Then in July, she went through a transition. Her independent coach, former Loudoun Valley High School head coach Joan Hunter, took a job leading the professional running group Tinman Elite in July. It did not leave much time for the pair to talk in the ensuing months, and left a gap as far as training was concerned. 

Over that stretch, Hutchins also had to endure some periods without racing -- in July, she told MileSplit Tennessee "she had to cut her track season short." 

With few races left to tune up, Hutchins and her family have made another decision. 

The 2021 cross country season was supposed to be her last high school season before an early graduation and a gap year to get stronger. 

But that equation has changed just slightly. 

Hutchins will still be graduating early from Science Hill, though she will now enroll at Brigham Young University on January 3, MileSplit recently learned. 

But while Hutchins did not race her senior cross country season, she'll certainly leave a lasting legacy.

Last November, she set a national high school best for 5K on grass, becoming the first female in high school history to run under 16 minutes. 

Hutchins set the bar at 15:58.42 (above) at the RunningLane National Cross Country Championships.

She also picked up six state titles in Tennessee, including two wins over the 2018 and 2020 seasons in cross country. She was a two-time All-American at Foot Locker Nationals -- now the Eastbay Cross Country Championships -- and finished as high as fifth in 2019.

Hutchins' last high school race was another record-setter. She finished 3,200m in a career best time of 9:52.33, which went down as the third-best performance in high school history. 

She'll join a BYU women's program that's coming off an NCAA Cross Country Championship under head coach Diljeet Taylor.