If you were paying attention to the Section 1 live Instagram coverage on Saturday, there was one notable absence from the start line in the girl's distance races. Most people noticed the next day after the results were posted. Jenna Hutchins, National Champion and BYU signee, was not on the start list for any race. Coach Jones of Science Hill informed me at the meet she was injured. An unfortunate development after such an historic Cross Country campaign. Whatever Jenna's ailment is, I hope you'll join me in wishing her a speedy and full recovery.
There's a quote that comes to mind when thinking about the effect Hutchins and runners of her caliber have had on the state this last decade:
"A rising tide raises all boats."
Kathy Kroeger set the bar and every runner since, Story, Neglia, and Hutchins have just continued raising it. Would we have the Arringtons, Cheesemans, Walters, Guillmondeguis, Vanderkolks, and so many other runners remaining to carry the torch into the future at the level at which they have and will without the likes of a Jenna? I err on the side of doubtful.
The distance races in Division I Large, absent Hutchins, are still in good hands and the intrigue is at an all-time high.
Leigh Walters, Andie-Marie Jones, and Landri Wilcox will be among those vying for a state title this season in the 1600m and 3200m Distances.