6/15/2007 11:25:00 PM  Email this articlePrint this article 
: Hull of a transformation
Southmont junior Jason Hull named The Paper’s 2007 Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year
The Paper photo by John Groth
Southmont High School junior Jason Hull has been named The Paper’s 2007 Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.


NEW MARKET - Jason Hull never envisioned one change could bring so much track and field success.


In less than half a season, he transformed himself from a middle distance runner into a sprinter.


But what's even more remarkable is how easy the Southmont High School junior made the transition look.


Not only did Hull dominate in his main event - winning Montgomery County and Sagamore Athletic Conference titles and nearly advancing to the Indiana High School Athletic Association State finals in the 400 meters - but he also earned an unexpected conference championship in the 100 and performed admirably in the 200.


It's his ability to adjust and newfound sprinting success that have landed him The Paper's 2007 Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.


It was a big shock, said Hull, who finished fifth in the 400 at the IHSAA Lafayette Jefferson Regional in a season-best 51.15 seconds - missing third-place and a qualifying spot for the IHSAA State finals by only .85 seconds. It was really awesome. I went into the season expecting to be a 400 runner and an 800 runner. But I found out that I was a 100 runner. . .I really didn't (expect my 100 success). I expected my success to be at the 400 and the rest of it would be just added training to perfect and improve my 400 times.


A middle distance runner for his high school career, Hull made the switch to short distance, or sprint, running this year.


In only a matter of weeks, he went from a novice to a top contender.


Halfway through the outdoor season, near the end of April, Southmont boys track and field coach Marvin Walters approached Hull and told him he thought he was a much better sprinter than a distance runner.


Walters thought Hull could score points in the 100 and 200 events and was looking for another top-notch runner.


So he asked Hull if he wanted to test the waters. Hull went along with the idea and quickly made an impression.


He won the 100 in the May 4 county meet and a week later pulled off an upset win in the conference meet. Hull won each race by less than two tenths of a second.


(Jason) was receptive to it and told me 'whatever you need me to do, coach,' Walters said. I expected him to have a good season in the 400. But not anything like the success he had in the 100 and 200 . . .He's always had a great attitude. I was tickled to death with the 400 and the way it ended up at the end of the year. The 100 in conference and county was totally unexpected. I'm just very proud of him.


Besides his 100 success, Hull also kept us his accomplishments in the 400.


He defended his conference title in the event and placed fifth in the Plainfield Sectional and Lafayette Jefferson Regional.


But Hull still wants more - and to achieve his dream of advancing to the State finals.


He still needs to take off a second or two off his 400 time to have a shot.


I was .83 seconds away from state, he said. It makes me feel good and confident. But I know that it will take a lot of hard work and effort to take that second or two off. . .It's a matter of taking away the strategy at the beginning and just running it like a few hundre. Then you hold onto it for the last 200 - not saving or leaving anything for the end at all. It's about getting a much better start, especially at the first 100. I think I can do it. I really do.


Right now, Hull is preparing for the Mounties' upcoming cross country season and running long distances. But the added distance will help him build more endurance and strength for next track season.


Whatever the sport, Hull always maintains his concentration.


I'm focused on cross country training for the fall and then track when that season is over, he said.