Albion Park's Jessica Hull eyeing off Tokyo Olympics after historic result

Out in front: Jessica Hull (left). Picture: Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images.

Out in front: Jessica Hull (left). Picture: Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images.

After dominating the United State college athletics scene in recent years, Albion Park's Jessica Hull is preparing to take on the world's best.

And one of her early mentors is confident she has the talent and drive to thrive on the international stage after she ran the third fastest time ever by an Australian woman over 5000 metres early Monday morning (AEST).

Albion Park Little Athletics Club vice-president Pat McPhillips has known Hull since she was a teenager and he said she was always that little bit more committed than her junior rivals. It's that dedication, he said, that will help her excel over the coming years.

"She always had potential," McPhillips said. "She was starting to become quite dominant at state level as a teenager, but there's not much room at the top of athletics.

"It's only the top one or two, not a team of 13, to make it as far as she has is very impressive. She's always had potential but she's also had a big work ethic.

"I'm pretty confident she can go well at the Olympics next year, and she's so young, she won't reach her peak for another few years."

The 22-year-old arrived on the international athletics scene in a big way on Monday morning, running a World Championships and Olympic qualifying time in Berlin.

The time of 15:00.32 was a 34-second personal best and the fastest by an Australian woman in 13 years.

Remarkably, the 5000m is not even her primary event, with Hull having already qualified for the upcoming World Championships in Doha in the 1500m.

Despite the impressive result, Hull will commit herself to the 1500m in Doha.

Hull's father Simon, who coached her as a teenager, said the run is a good indicator she is in form ahead of her first major international championships.

"She's very happy with the result," Simon said. "It's not her event, she's a 1500m runner, the 5000m was more for preparation for Doha. She's got the Olympic and World standard in that, but she'll be focusing on the 1500m for Doha and Tokyo.

"The result is the culmination of consistency, getting back to back seasons of training and racing in. She was always talented as a junior, now she's gone to the next level. She's turned professional and that dedication is showing in her results."

Running for Albion Park and Kembla Joggers, Hull was a stand out as a teenager, winning state and national medals.

The completion of high school saw her move to the United States to run for the University of Oregon in the US college system. There she dominated her rivals, winning four NCAA titles, before she turned professional in June.

Simon said she hopes to use the next 12 months as a springboard for the Tokyo Olympics before she sets her sights on building towards Paris in 2024.

"She always had Tokyo penciled in, she knew she'd be graduating 12 months out from the Olympics. The idea was to turn professional, get into a pro training group and have 12 months with a coach, then a whole four-year cycle for Paris.

"She'll hit her peak as a runner in Paris. Next year in Tokyo, she'll run well but we're not sure how well. She'll still be new to professional racing when she goes to Tokyo, it will take a little bit longer than that to reach her peak."

This story Jessica Hull eyeing off Tokyo 2020 after historic result first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.