World titles beckon junior speedster

ALBION Park middle distance runner Jessica Hull continues to show her tremendous ability, highlighted by selection in the Australian team for this year's World Junior Championships.

The 17-year-old said a broken toe that kept her out of the World Youth titles last year gave her the motivation for this year's title and she is thrilled to have booked her spot in the titles at Eugene, Oregon, in the United States, in July.

"The first thing you had to do [was] a worlds qualifying time [in the 3000 metres] of nine minutes 30 seconds after the nationals last October and I actually ran nine mins 20 sec in November - the incredible thing is that I really didn't go out in that race to set that time - it was just one of those things I suppose," Hull said.

"All I had to do was win the 3k [3000m] at the Australian Juniors to guarantee my spot and I did and also came third in the 1500m.

"The following week I took part in the McDonalds State Little As championships and was lucky enough to win both the 1500m and set a state record in winning the 3k - it's been one of my best seasons."

Winning at these championships is nothing new.

"I have been competing in State since under-9s, I won my first state title in under-12s, and I have won a few titles in the 800m, then 1500m and now 3000m."

The Albion Park High School captain is coached by her father, Simon, a former champion athlete.

"A lot of people say they don't know how I can work so closely with my father, but I know dad has done it all before and I know he understands what it takes to reach the top," she said.

"He trains along side me in each session - I finally have run faster than the time he ran as an 11-year-old," she said.

"He races the first 200 with me then drops out and jumps back in for the sprint finish."

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