Jenna Magness and Claudia Baryo have been a terrific tandem all year long for the Grand Ledge varsity girls cross country team. The duo led the Comets to another successful season which fell just 7 points short of a team birth in the state championships at the Brighton Regional last weekend.
Jenna and Claudia also earned the right to compete as individuals at the MHSAA State Championship meet by virtue of their top 15 finishes at the MHSAA Regional meet.
“Both girls ran very well and finished their tremendous seasons with very good races today,” Hutchinson said. “Jenna rebounded from a sub par performance at last years state finals to finish 20th this year which was more than good enough to earn Jenna the honor or being all-state.
“Jenna has worked very hard her whole career and has really made herself into an elite level runner,” Hutchinson said.
Jenna was the 6th fastest senior in the state, something that many might not have guessed when she was a freshman.
“She has really developed a toughness and resiliency over her career that will serve her well at the college level,” Hutchinson said. “She can grind and tough out tough situations better than most, which is what she had to do today. With a very muddy, sloppy course and not feeling her absolute best today, I thought Jenna did an excellent job of holding on and then finishing strong. She passed multiple runners in the last 400 meters of the race to move from about 27th place up to 20th. I’m very proud of her for her effort not only today but over the past 4 years,” praised Hutchinson.
“She was motived since last October to make it the finals and she did just that,” Hutchinson said. “Her training and commitment to getting better are exceptional and she really has a hunger to be better from race to race and from season to season.
“I love that Claudia is a goal setter and she devises a plan of attack and executes her plan. I’m just so happy for her that she was here today and not just going through the motions but competing very well,” said Hutchinson.
The veteran Comet coach said Claudia’s finish is great indicator for next season.
“Claudia may have a legitmate chance next year to be an all stater herself,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson was happy with Claudia’s race because she ran on the big stage without fear.
“Next year, she’ll know what it is like and what to expect and I feel she has a legit shot to be on the awards podium next year” said Hutchinson. “Both girls really represented themselves well today as well as their team, school and families. They are both wonderful girls with very bright futures ahead of them both athletically and academically. Their finishes at the race and their cumulative GPAs also earned the girls academic all state honors as well.”
Congratulations to both Jenna and Claudia on outstanding seasons!