Hutchins, Neglia Divide & Conquer over Thanksgiving Weekend

They did it again.

Jenna Hutchins and Sasha Neglia owned the Southeast on Saturday in North Carolina. Jenna won Foot Locker South. Sasha won Nike Southeast. Again.

After battling an illness at the state meet, Jenna used a fantastic final kick to punch her second consecutive ticket to Foot Locker Nationals. She finished ninth there last year.

"Last year the Foot Locker experience was just amazing," she said after the race. "My main goal this season was to just make it back again."

It took a lot for Jenna to one-up her sensational freshman campaign. Her freshman year was probably the best in state history.

But from her 16:38 out in Arizona to her runner-up finish at Great American and taking the Foot Locker South title -- she obviously proved that her freshman season was no fluke. It was merely a preview of what's to come.

Neglia picked up right where she left off at state. She won her second straight Nike Southeast title...and led her Dobyns Bennett team to an impressive fourth place finish.

Despite the cold and muddy conditions, Neglia actually set a new career-best of 17:02 in Cary.

That's a pretty big deal.

"It wasn't as muddy as last year so I just tried to embrace it."

Those are the words of a true cross country runner right there.

The future UNC Tarheel certainly made the most of her last regional championship.

"It probably eased my mind because I ran well in the rain last year...I knew I could run well in these conditions," she said. "It's only a four hour drive (to the meet) which is the same distance as our state meet, so that didn't affect me at all really."

We've got one more spring to watch these two distance stars continue to battle. Don't take it for granted.

Tennessee has two of its all-time best running at the same time. And they're both representing Northeast Tennessee as well as one could.