North State Journal’s 100 in 100 series will showcase the best athlete from each of North Carolina’s 100 counties. From Alamance to Yancey, each county will feature one athlete who stands above the rest. Some will be obvious choices, others controversial, but all of our choices are worthy of being recognized for their accomplishments — from the diamond and gridiron to racing ovals and the squared circle. You can see all the profiles as they’re unveiled here.
Talk all you like about Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders or Charlie Ward. They were only stars in two sports. Hannah Jennings did them all one better by dominating the competition in three sports during her career at Madison High School.
She was so good at volleyball, basketball and softball during her senior seasons of 2017-18 that she was named as N.C. High School Athletic Association’s Female Athlete of the Year, beating out a group of finalists that included current NC State basketball All-American Elissa Cunane.
In addition, she was also one of two statewide winners of the NCHSAA’s Pat Gainey Student Award, which provides scholarship support for student-athletes with a focus on need-based applicants. She ranked fourth in her class, graduating with a 4.65 GPA. The numbers she put up on the playing fields were just as impressive.
Jennings was a four-time all-conference selection in volleyball, recording 118 kills with only 44 errors along with 51 blocks and 282 digs during her senior year. As a 5-foot-7 forward in basketball, she averaged 12.7 points and 5.3 rebounds while twice earning all-conference recognition before being picked to participate in the Western N.C. Blue vs. White All-Star Game.
Her best work, however, came on the softball diamond, where in addition to winning all-conference honors in each of her final three seasons, she also won Conference Player of the Year and District Player of the Year awards after both her junior and senior years.
As a pitcher, she compiled a 43-3 record with a 1.18 ERA and 429 strikeouts in 273⅓ innings, adding 21 shutouts and a perfect game. As a senior, she went 11-0, allowing only seven earned runs in 15 appearances while leading the Patriots to a 21-1 record and a spot in the NCHSAA West Region semifinals.
At the plate, Jennings batted better than .500 in each of her final three seasons. She slapped out 184 hits and 92 RBI while scoring 129 runs in 94 games and leading the team in virtually every offensive category. She is currently a member of the softball team at Lenoir-Rhyne, where she started 15 games and hit .265 in a part-time role as a sophomore last season.