Coach: Rob Denmark / Craig Mottram
Occupation: PharmacistEvents: 5000m, 10,000m
Madeline Hills first appeared on the international athletics track in the early 2000s, placing third in the 1500m at the 2003 Australian Youth Olympic festival, and competing at the World Juniors in Italy the following year.
While still in her teens, she just missed selection in the 2006 Commonwealth Games team in March. She was also forced to withdraw from the 2006 World Juniors and then took a remarkably long break from the sport.
She returned after an eight-year absence in 2013. During her break, she focused on establishing her career as a pharmacist, studied a Masters of International Public Health and travelled around the globe.
Three months after returning to the track in 2013, Hills qualified for the 3000m steeplechase at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, where she placed fourth behind a trio of Kenyans in a new PB.
In 2015 Madeline had an amazing European season. She became the second fastest Australian steeplechaser in history (behind Donna McFarlane), third fastest in the 3000m and sixth fastest over 5000m with her new personal best times.
Selected for Rio in the 3000m steeplechase and 5000m, Hills was brilliant. After running well in the heats, she clocked personal bests on the biggest stage in sport – the Olympic Games finals. She was seventh in the steeplechase with 9:20.38 and tenth in the 5000m with 15:04.05.
In late 2016, she moved from Wollongong to Melbourne to live and train. Injured over summer, upon her
return to the track in May 2017, she surprised with a massive 10,000m PB of 31:41.10, a minute from her previous best, and moved to fifth on the Australian all-time list and achieved a 2017 IAAF World Championships qualifier. More injuries hampered her 2017 World Championships preparation, but she did compete in both the 5000m (heat 15:13.77) and 10,000m (26th 32:48.57).
There were more injuries in 2017, but she arrived at the 2018 Australian Championships ready to secure selection for the Commonwealth Games. In a close 5000m race with a number of athletes in contention until the end, Hills managed to lock up second place and automatic nomination for her second Commonwealth Games appearance.
She maintains a fulltime job as a pharmacist, although the work is not in a retail shop but online, allowing flexibility in her hours and not requiring her to be on her feet all day.
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