Jenna Hutchins Heading to S.C. For 5K After National Record

* Photo provided

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The nation's top girls cross country runner of the fall, Jenna Hutchins, is returning to South Carolina on Friday for the Five and Dime Athletics Meeting at Columbia International University

Hutchins, a junior from Science Hill High School in Tennessee who was named the MileSplit50 Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year this week, was last in South Carolina when she won the 2019 Eye Opener championship (watch the race).

According to the meet website, the Five and Dime Athletics Meeting is a 5K/10K focused outdoor track meet for all abilities -- from track newbies to Tokyo Olympic hopefuls. 

Hutchins is entered in the elite women's 5,000 meter run, where she will hope to go after the overall national girls record of 15:37. She is coming off a national high school cross country record of 15:58.42 at the RunningLane National Cross Country Championships on Nov. 21 (Watch the race).

scrunners spoke with Hutchins ahead of the competition. Read what she has to say after the video interview. 

RunningLane XC National Championships Post-race interview 

"This is my first time running in a race with both college and professional athletes so I am using this as a learning opportunity to improve in my strategy, pacing and overall speed," Hutchins said. "Competing in races with other women around you for most of the race is always an exciting way to set new goals and expectations.

"All in all, I have no specific goal other than to have fun and enjoy my last race of the 2020 season. I have made significant improvements this season and am really excited to test my fitness out on the track. I was extremely happy with my 3200m performance in August and feel very confident that I have continued to grow and have made further improvements throughout this season. 

"I want to give a big thanks to Dave Milner for putting on the meet and for allowing me and other athletes to compete in such uncertain times with COVID. I will try my best during the race and know I'll love every moment."

Female entries for the elite 5,000-meter run (as of Monday)

James Quattlebaum is entered in the elite men's 5,000-meter run. Quattlebaum won the Under 30 10K on Oct. 10 at Southern Wesleyan with a time of 29:43. Watch the race here.

Male entries for the elite 5,000-meter run (as of Monday) will be onsite for both the elite 5,000 meter runs Friday.