Hutchins named Gatorade Tennessee Girls Track & Field Player of the Year
Science Hill rising sophomore Jenna Hutchins has been named Gatorade Tennessee Girls Track & Field Player of the Year. Hutchins received the honor after capping off a phenomenal freshman season in which she earned an individual state championship in cross country and two state championships in track during the 800-meter and 1600-meter competitions. Hutchins also set a state record in the mile at the Music City Carnival with a time of 4:43.33, which ranked No. 9 in the nation among prep competitors at the time of her selection. Hutchins also ranked No. 9 in the 2-mile run (10:25.01) and No. 84 in the 1,600 (4:53.75).
Hutchins is the first Gatorade Tennessee Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year to be chosen from Science Hill High School.
“I am humbled and grateful for this honor,” Hutchins said. “I want to thank my family and coaches for pushing me and everyone that has supported me. This is a terrific honor that I am very proud of.”
Hutchins becomes the fourth ‘Topper to receive the Gatorade State Athlete of the Year honor. Previous recipients include Todd Smalling (cross country), Daniel Norris (baseball) and Lucas Altman (soccer).
“Science Hill is not only proud of Jenna for her athletic accomplishments, but also for being an outstanding student and person,” Science Hill Athletic Director Keith Turner said. “She always handles herself with class and she is a wonderful example of how athletes should carry themselves on and off the field of competition. This honor is a great example what one can accomplish when they have total dedication and do things the right way. We are so proud of Jenna as a student-athlete.”
Hutchins is a member of the Theatre Club at Science Hill and has volunteered locally as a youth track coach, while maintaining an A average in the classroom as she prepares to start her sophomore year.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the track, distinguishes Hutchins as Tennessee’s best high school girls track & field athlete. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year award to be announced later this month, Hutchins joins an elite alumni association of state track & field award-winners, 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.).
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Hutchins also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.