Fast times told Jessica Hull it was time to go pro
"I just want to get my feet wet in some really high caliber fields over this summer and see what I’m capable of and learn a lot and have some fun and see where that takes me.”
By Chris Hansen, The Register-Guard
Jessica Hull’s decision to turn professional and leave Oregon with a season of outdoor track eligibility remaining was thoughtful and ultimately bittersweet, she said.
But it wasn’t hard.
The times she was running, the way she was progressing in her training, and the big meets on the calendar over the coming year — including the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo — all indicated the time was right for the redshirt junior from Australia to move on.
“You don’t want the opportunity to slip free,” Hull said. “You want to make the most of all that there is out there. Hopefully the transition will be with eyes wide open and I learn as much as can the next 12 months leading to Tokyo.”
The 22-year-old middle distance runner, who signed with an agent last week but not yet a shoe sponsor, leaves the Ducks as a four-time NCAA champion, seven-time all-American and two-time record holder who is coming off the most impressive year of her career.
She opened her indoor season by resetting her school record in the Mile in 4 minutes, 32.03 seconds. In her second race, she broke Jordan Hasay’s school record in the 3000 meters with an 8:53.91 at the Husky Classic.
She went on to win NCAA Indoor titles in the 3000 and distance medley relay.
During the outdoor season, she was the national leader in the 1500 during the regular season at 4:12.08 and then topped that with a 4:09.90 at the NCAA West Preliminary meet.
She also became the 4th fastest performer in Oregon history in the 5000 with her 15:34.93 at the Stanford Invitational and a two-time Pac-12 champion in the 1500.
She went into the NCAA Outdoor Championships as the defending champion but finished in second place despite running a personal record and World Outdoor Championship qualifying time 4:06.27 — more the two seconds faster than what she ran in 2018 to win the title.
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