Athlete of the Week: NMB’s Jenerette a true sister act

North Myrtle Beach cross country standout Benjamin Jenerette is having a great time in her senior season, and not just the one measured by a stop watch.

Jenerette set the school record for the 5K last week with a time of 18:49 to earn Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week honors. But it’s the joy of getting to run with both of her younger sisters that has her all smiles this season.

Benjamin, sophomore Drake and seventh-grader Wilson finished 1-2-3 in Tuesday’s cross country tri-meet, making it an all-Jenerette sweep of the top three spots. The eldest sister counts the thrill right up there with many of her past accomplishments.

“This is the only year that all three of us cold run varsity together and we’re having a blast,” said Benjamin Jenerette, a third-place finisher in the state in 2011. “It’s great that I’m putting up some good times, but there’s nothing like having them run with me.”

Jenerette has more goals on her to-do list before hanging up her high school sneakers, and running is only part of the equation. She also qualified for this weekend’s Class 3A state meet as a member of the Lady Chiefs’ 4×400 relay team and hopes to make a big splash in the pool as well.

“When I started swimming initially it was to help me stay in shape for running, and it still does, but I’ve really enjoyed doing both,” she said. “It’s real busy between school and running and swimming, but it’s really been fun and it’s been good for me.”

After this weekend’s swimming finale, Jenerette will turn her attention to improving her time and trying to win repeat county and region titles before heading to state. Then it’s time to hit the books and keep her grades high enough to get into the college of her choice.

In this case, as a self-described “military brat” whose mother, Katherine, recently was awarded the Purple Heart for her service overseas, Jenerette plans to visit the U.S. Military Academy and U.S. Naval Academy in hopes of earning an appointment. She’s got the grades, the physical tools, and the heart.

“I’ve always grown up being around the military and I love that way of life,” she said. “When my mom got the Purple Heart, I decided, ‘This is what I want to do.’ I want to serve my country and hopefully keep competing and improving.”

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