Scott Westcott: Out of the wilderness
By JOSH CALLINAN
25 Aug, 2011
Fresh legs are a rare commodity in the world of marathon running but Aberglasslyn’s Scott Westcott believes he has found a pair.
The 35-year-old feels rejuvenated and on course to reach an Olympic dream after more than a year in the athletics wilderness.
Westcott signalled his return from stress fractures in his feet with a breakthrough win at the NSW Short Course Championships in Sydney and followed it up with a bronze medal at the Australian Cross Country Championships in Canberra on the weekend.
Now, he wants to use this momentum as the springboard towards representing Australia at London 2012.
“Every kid dreams of representing their country when they play their junior sport, and I was like every other kid,” Westcott said.
“I’m 35 and the dream is still alive.
“I believe I’ve got fresh legs, which is a funny thing to say for a marathon runner ... and it feels like I’m 22 and making my breakthrough performances all over again.
“I’ve had a couple of years in the wilderness, and it’s like I’ve almost got to start from scratch.
“But I feel like I’m pretty close and I’ll go round for a little while yet to see if I can get that green and gold.”
Westcott wore the national uniform in 2006 at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, where he finished fourth in the marathon, and three years later at the World Championships in Berlin.
But he’s also had his fair share of heartbreak as well.
Most recently it was being overlooked for Australia’s athletics team that contested the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.
But prior to that Westcott had come perilously close to Olympic selection before narrowly missing out on each occasion.
“I’ve had this focused Olympic dream for the best part of 12 or 13 years since I first moved to the Hunter area back in 1998 ... and it really came alive just before Sydney [2000 Olympics],” he said.
“I qualified for Sydney, qualified for Athens [2004 Olympics] and qualified for Beijing [2008 Olympics] as well, but didn’t get the nod.