Class of 2022 graduate Hudson Jessep is middle distance runner who has won several national and state titles in recent years. He has had his achievements recognised by securing a scholarship to university in the USA!
The former Pomona House captain specialises in cross country, 1500m, 3000m and 5000m track events. Last year he won the U18 3000m national title, which caught the eyes of various talent scouts and eventually led to a fully-paid athletics scholarship to Florida Gulf Coast University.
“I was stoked. It was something I always wanted to do,” Hudson said of the achievement.
“I have always been pretty keen to work hard through College and try to get a scholarship to America, and see what it’s like over there, to give running a crack in another scene.”
Hudson and his supporters regard the scholarship as a reward for years of focus, planning, good coaching and diligent training.
Last year, he also won the national cross country teams title, along with the Queensland U18 5km road championship, and the Queensland 1500m and 3000m championships. He also still holds the Queensland schools U17 3000m record.
Hudson came to running late as a 14-year-old. He grew up surfing and playing rugby league – his father Dean Jessep served as Coolum Colts president – but he took up Little Athletics in the off season to help develop his running speed.
“It came to me very naturally, and I guess that it was kind of a way of the situation saying that this is something you can definitely pursue, and the love just kept growing.”
His breakthrough came last year at the Australian athletics titles.
“Last April, I won the nationals for the 3000m, which was huge, one of the best feelings I’ve ever had,” he said.
“The race went really quick, in the blink of an eye, and just seeing the family up in the crowd, it was a pretty special moment for me.
“After I won, I started to get scouted by a couple of agents."
Hudson settled on Florida Gulf Coast University for its similarities to Coolum and Southeast Queensland. His scholarship covers all costs including books, food allowance, uniforms and study fees. He will be studying a degree in business.
He leaves for Florida in August.
Hudson’s personal best times are: 1500m - 4:00; 3000m - 8:33; 5000m - 14:57