Jessica on a fast track to the top
By Steve Spinks
Jessica Gilfillan is always in a hurry.
When she relaxes, it's never by just sitting down.
It's probably why the Tuntable Creek youngster is such an exciting middle-distance running prospect.
It's also one of the reasons why she has won the Australian Cross Country Championships for her age group four years straight, a feat never before achieved.
Gilfillan notched her fourth Aussie title not so long ago in Adelaide.
She is the October winner of The Northern Star Southern Cross Ten 2005 Junior Sports Star of the Year Award.
"Jessica and her sisters are incredibly active," Jessica's father Rob Gilfillan said.
"Sometimes you try to tell them this is a rest day.
"But they can't just sit around ... they almost drive you nuts."
Later this month Gilfillan will compete at the Pacific School Games in Melbourne.
Rob, and his wife Karen, coach Jessica and her older sisters Ashlea and Courtney, who are also elite junior athletes, are part of the Gold Coast based Addicted 2 Running squad.
While Jessica and her sisters are best friends, they are also extremely fierce competitors.
"They train a lot together and spend nearly all their sessions together so they're like best friends," Rob said.
No love lost
"But on the track there is no love lost between them.
"I can see the day when the three of them hit the top of the straight together and they're trying to trip each other."
Jessica, is not just effective in cross-country.
The 13-year-old is equally adept at track running as shown by her current Australian rankings.
She is currently ranked second in the 2km Open women's steeplechase and first in the 1500m open steeplechase.
The St Andrew's Lutheran College, Tallebudgera student is also ranked No 1 in the 13-years 800m, 1500m and 3000m distances.
But that's nothing!
As an 11 and 12-year-old, Jessica set world-best times for her age group over the 3000m and 1500m.
It was an achievement that stunned Athletics Australia officials at the time.
But Rob is just happy that Jessica enjoys her sport.
"She just enjoys keeping fit," he said.
"Actually, sometimes part of the problem is slowing her and her sisters down."
As you can see, Jessica is in a hurry.
And isn't she going places fast.