SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (WJHL) — In her first high-level NCAA cross country test, former Science Hill standout Jenna Hutchins finished 8th at the Bill Dellinger Invitational to help 6th-ranked Brigham Young University (BYU) to an easy win over host Oregon.
Hutchins, a red shirt freshman, covered the 6,000-meter course in 20:18.5 as BYU placed seven runners in the top 15. Its five scoring runners were fourth, fifth, eighth, 12th and 13th for an easy 42-point win. The lowest team scores are the best in cross country.
Oregon was second with 78 points, followed by Cal-Poly with 122 and Oregon State with 148. Oregon State senior Kaylee Mitchell won the race in 19:37.2 and was followed by two UC-Davis runners who were 18 seconds behind her.
2022 All-Americans Lexy Halladay-Lowry and Aubrey Frentheway passed Hutchins in the final 1,000 meters to finish fourth and fifth in 20:01.5 and 20:05.6.
Hutchins was fourth at the fourth and final split, four seconds ahead of Halladay-Lowry and seven ahead of Frentheway, who are both seniors. She ran her final section in 4:39.7, allowing all the other top 20 runners to gain ground on her.
It was Hutchins’ first NCAA competitive cross-country race at 6,000 meters. She won BYU’s Autumn Classic two weeks ago, but that was a 5,000-meter race — the same distance as high school races.
Hutchins was the highest-placing freshman in the meet, finishing 25 seconds ahead of teammate Grace Hutchison, 28 seconds ahead of Amelia Stacey of Cal-Berkeley and 32 seconds ahead of Katie Clute of Oregon, who finished 21st, 23rd and 25th, respectively.
BYU’s next meet is Oct. 14 just outside Charlottesville, Va. at the XC-23 Pre-Nationals Invitational.