June 14, 2010

Scott-Wesley struts stuff out west

For someone who has only been running track for two years, Mitchell County's Justin Scott-Wesley is certainly proving his lack of experience in no way keeps him from enjoying unprecedented success.

Barely a month after running the nation's fifth-fastest time 100-meter at the state track meet with a time of 10.35, the Georgia football commitment took his act to the West Coast where he took part in the prestigious Golden West Invitational near San Francisco.

He didn't disappoint.

Despite a cross-wind that threatened to blow the sprints out of their lanes, Scott-Wesley turned in a 10.41, winning race which featured some of the top prep sprinters from across the country.

"It was real good competition," Scott-Wesley said in a telephone interview Sunday afternoon. "It was great exposure and I got to compete against the best."

Scott-Wesley isn't kidding.

Sponsored by Adidas, the Golden West Invitational is one of the oldest and most prestigious track events for high school athletes in the entire country.

An invitation-only competition, past participants has represented the United States in every Olympics since 1964, including track legends Bob Beamon, Tommy Smith and Dwight Stones.

Scott-Wesley finished second in the 200-meter with a time of 21.37.

Although pleased that he won, Scott-Wesley was disappointed with his times.

"My times were off due to a lot of things," he said. "The wind was blowing from side to side, plus it was not that hot out there like it was for state. It also took me a while to get used to the time zone; I was pretty exhausted."

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Scott-Wesley laughed that he was by far the biggest sprinter there.

"I was the biggest guy there," he chuckled. "All the other runners, they were either short or tall and skinny. Nobody had any buff to them. There was this one guy from Hawaii who was pretty big, but most of them were all little guys. A lot of people there were amazed that I could carry the weight and run as fast as I can."

It's been a busy month for the talented wide receiver.

After winning the state meet, it was time for spring football at Mitchell County before Scott-Wesley resumed running for a summer track club in Albany, which was contacted by officials of the Golden West Invitational to have the future Bulldog and two teammates fly out for the meet.

Meanwhile, the honors keep flying in.

The Atlanta Track Club recently tabbed Scott-Wesley as its high school Athlete of the Year. He's also been nominated for the prestigious Gatorade Trade Athlete of the Year and he's being pushed to try out for the Junior Olympics.

Not bad for someone who only began running track two years ago.

"There's still a lot that I don't know," Scott-Wesley said. "I'm just now learning what to do. I'm still like the new guy on the team."

But for all his success, there's still one conversation Scott-Wesley said he'd like to have. He's still waiting to hear from Georgia track coach Wayne Norton.

"I'm trying to get his number," Scott-Wesley said. "I can't get his number."

Scott-Wesley shouldn't worry about that.

There's little doubt that Scott-Wesley will have his opportunity to run track for the Bulldogs.
But make no mistake; football has always been his first love.

"I've always loved football and I've worked hard to get where I am," Scott-Wesley said. "But I've found some success in track; there' no use to let that talent go to waste, so once I committed to it I started enjoying it, too."

Ironically, Scott-Wesley was competing not far from the school which he originally committed to play football - Stanford.

But that was then.

Scott-Wesley couldn't be happier to be a Bulldog, and say he plans on doing whatever he can to make a quick an impact as he can.

"I think I'm going to be an offensive and utility guy," said Scott-Wesley. "They want someone who can take a 5-yarder to the house. (Coaches) want me to polish my play at receiver and have a better understanding of the game, but I'll be able to do all that."

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