Gabrielle Jennings

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Gabrielle Jennings of First Baptist Christian School was named the Louisiana Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.

Jennings won her 5th consecutive Class C cross country championship in November. She has won this title every year since she began competing in the 5th grade.

In November, she ran 3 miles in 19 minutes, 29 seconds. For her, running is therapy: “For me running is almost a time to think and stuff. Just think about certain things that I can’t think about during the day I don’t have time. It is kinda like a relaxing time.”

At First Baptist Christian, Jennings has four outdoor titles in the 1600 and 3200 meters. She’s won three indoor 3200 meter titles, two outdoor 800s, and has been a member of two championship mile relay teams.

“Everything she sets her mind to, she’s strong-willed,” says Garielle’s father, Todd Jennings. “She’s determined. You need that as a distance runner. She just has that internal drive and engine.”

Last year, Jennings battled a hip injury and shin splints, but those ailments can’t stop one of the most decorated runners in the history of Louisiana high school athletics.