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Hutchins wins third Gatorade state award

Tanner Cook • Jun 26, 2020 at 10:00 AM

JOHNSON CITY — The trophy case for Science Hill sophomore cross country All-American Jenna Hutchins is getting awfully crowded.

On Thursday, Hutchins was announced as the Gatorade 2019-20 Player of the Year recipient for girls track & field for the state of Tennessee for the second consecutive year. This marks the third occasion she has won a state Gatorade award, including winning cross country in her freshman year.

“It’s still nice to win the award for the third time just as much as it is the first time,” Hutchins said.

The honor, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Hutchins as Tennessee’s best high school girls track & field athlete.

She is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced in June.

Hutchins joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Lolo Jones (1997-98, Roosevelt High School, Iowa), Allyson Felix (2002-03, Los Angeles Baptist High School, Calif.), Robert Griffin III (2006-07, Copperas Cove High School, Texas), Grant Fisher (2013-14 & 2014-15, Grand Blanc High School, Mich.) and Candace Hill (2014-15, Rockdale County High School, Ga.).

During her short indoor campaign, Hutchins set four state indoor records — including the mile at the prestigious Millrose Games in New York City. She finished the race in fourth, crossing the line in 4:45.12.

“The history of the Millrose Games speaks for itself,” she said. “The atmosphere was electric and the race itself was really fun running against great competition. I’m glad I got the opportunity to run it this year, seeing as how the outdoor season got canceled.”

She also set records in the 1,500-, the 1,600- and the 3,200-meter runs.

Hutchins ranked in the top 10 nationally among prep competitors in all four of those events as well as the 2-mile run during the 2020 indoor season.

She owns 13 school records as well as the state record in the outdoor mile and is ranked as the No. 9 recruit in the Class of 2022 by MileSplit.com.

An accomplished violinist, Hutchins has volunteered at the Johnson City Public Library and as a youth running coach.

Hutchins has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her junior year of high school this fall.