Georgia Hulls has been going places fast.
The Havelock North Girls’ High School Year 11 pupil has just returned from the Australian Junior Athletics Championships in Sydney, where she won both the Australian U17 100m and 200m titles.
Lowering her own best times of 11.96 for the 100 metres and 24.24 for the 200m - which she set in Wellington the previous weekend at the National Track and Field Championships – Georgia won the Australian 100m title in 11.78 and she won the 200m in Sydney in 24.09.
She was also in the New Zealand U18 team last week in Sydney that won the silver medal in the 4 x 100m relay, along with her friend and age-group rival Lucy Sheat from Marlbourough Girls’ College, and Year 13 students, Simone Tafuna'i from Mount Albert Grammar School and Brooke Somerfield from Tauranga Girls’ College .
Sheat came second to Georgia in both the 100m and 200m individual events in both the recent Wellington and Sydney meets.
Georgia’s success in the two individual events means she’s on her way to Columbia in July to compete for New Zealand at her two chosen sprinting events at the World Youth Athletics Championships, having already qualified for both before the recent Australian trip.
“I qualified for the 100m in January at the local track and field meeting here in the Hawke’s Bay called the Potts Classic,” Georgia said. “I also qualified there for the 200m but it was too windy, so I qualified with the right wind in Wellington.”
So how did Georgia discover she could run fast?
“My grandmother ran for England when she was younger [Jean Hulls, who competed in the pentathlon for Great Britain in the 1950s and 1960s] so I was exposed to athletics from a young age.
“I went to the Colgate Games from when I was aged seven to when I was 14, and that was where I learnt to gauge where I was with other people my age.
She picked up the winning bug early. “From aged 7-10 you only run in heats, but I won my first proper Colgate Games title in the 100m when I was 10.”
Georgia’s father Dean is her coach. “He helps me out a lot as my coach, and we can also bring things home and discuss things together. He is also a hockey coach for Hawke’s Bay hockey.”
“I also play hockey, but I have just stopped playing it for Hawke’s Bay and will just play for it for my school this year, so I can have more time to run.”
Georgia’s next meeting is the North Island Secondary School Championships in two weeks.
“That will be good to keep the legs ticking over. But apart from that it is going to be mainly training through to July.”
She has recently stepped up her training. “I used to train about three-four times a week; now we are aiming for a bit more. I don’t go to the gym yet, but we are looking or a personal trainer or a strength and conditioning coach for the winter.”
Georgia said that for now she is focussing on the sprints, but long-term she is eyeing up the longer distances on the track.
“I think in the future I will move out to the 400m, 800m or the 1500m. I am going to keep doing the sprints until I cannot improve my PB anymore.”
Georgia has a Givealittle page to fundraise for Columbia: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/supportgeorgiahulls
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