- To walk in victory no matter the outcome
- Strive to be the best version of myself
- Inspire younger athletes to pursue excellence and never give up
2019 – 3rd Australian National Championships – Open Heptathlon
2018 – 1st QLD State Champion – Open Heptathlon
2018 – Finished year ranked #2 in Australia
2017 – Athletics North QLD – Athlete of the Year
2017 – 3rd Nationals – Open Women Javelin
2017 – 1st QLD State Champs – Open Javelin
2016 – 1st QLD Boxing State Champs – 69kg Women (4W, 0L)
2015 – 2nd Oceania Athletics Championships (Heptathlon)
2012 – 1st Australian Champion – U18 Women’s Javelin
2012 – Pimlico State High School – Athlete of the Year
2011 – Started Formal Athletics Training
MY STORY THUS FAR
My name is Tori West, I’m 23 and training to compete at the 2020 Olympics in the heptathlon. The heptathlon is the toughest & most underrated track & field discipline. It comprises of 7 events over 2 days – the winner is the athlete with the most points. Points are calculated based on performance not placing, so the goal is to perform your best in each event.
The events are as follows:
Day 1: 100m Hurdles, High Jump, Shot Put & 200m
Day 2: Long Jump, Javelin & 800m
I have done multiple sports since I was 3 years old including Athletics, Basketball, Boxing & Tennis. But athletics was always my first passion. My first club was Townsville North Star and to this day many of my records from the ages of 4 & up still stand. At 15, I was scouted my first coach Gary Cairns and he told me I could be good at Javelin. 1 year later aged 16, I became the national U18 Javelin Champion.
Not much happened after this,
It wasn’t until I was 19 that I got back into athletics but then injured my foot in 2016. During 2016 I stepped away from athletics and took up boxing after watching Holly Holm knockout Ronda Rousey at UFC193– I did 4 fights, won 4 fights and was the 2016 QLD state champion.
After winning a Boxing state championship, I was very aware the 2018 Commonwealth Games were coming up and knew in my heart I want to go for the heptathlon. So at 21, I retired from Boxing and started Long Jump and Javelin training in January 2017. I went to the 2017 Nationals and won a bronze in Javelin. But, the only thing on my mind was the heptathlon.
I started official heptathlon training on the 23rd April 2017, 9 months later I went from unknown and un-ranked to ranked #2 in Australia and qualifying for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
However, at the Commonwealth Games selection trial I made a mistake in High Jump (one of my stronger event) and placed 4th losing my opportunity to compete in the Australian team. Nonetheless, this is sport, you have your wins and losses, but what matters is that you learn from those experiences. And I did and still continue too.
In March 2018, just after the Commonwealth Games trials I ran into some injury issues with my back and then had to de-load for 6 months off training to recover. During this layoff, I made a big decision to move to Brisbane to train with a new elite squad. This was a very hard decision, because I loved the idea of going all the way to the top with my team in Townsville. Without my Townsville coaches I would never be involved in athletics. But knew in my heart I had to move to get to the next level. I had to immerse myself with athletes better than me and with a different mindset. I believe success is determined by who you surround yourself with. Despite the move, I am still in Townsville often for work and to visit family. So in some ways, it doesn’t feel like I have moved.
In December 2018 I moved to Brisbane and officially transitioned under the Coaching excellence of Eric Brown – arguably the world’s best multi event coach. He currently coaches 2018 World Junior Decathlon Champion Ashley Maloney & Australian Olympic Decathlete Cedric Dubler as well as many other former Olympic Athletes. And he has great faith in my potential – in his eyes I am raw untapped potential considering how late I started my heptathlon training journey.
Since December, training has been intense but we have seen tremendous improvements. However, in early February I partially tore my Hamstring Tendon running off hurdles bad. Another setback. I decided I wouldn’t compete at the Australian Championships and prioritise recovery, then 2 days before the competition was set to begin, I changed my mind and committed myself to compete.
This was by far the toughest heptathlon I have ever competed in, I was in pain and had to overcome a great deal of doubts and fear to finish. I under performed in most of the events, particularly the 200m, Long Jump & 800m due to my injury. After Long Jump I almost dropped out, I didn’t want an average performance on my performance history. But I persevered and the competition changed as soon as I threw a new PB of 50.54m in Javelin to move from 8th to 3rd place. I had to then dig deep in the 800m to maintain third and I did just that… by only 4 points (which is less than 0.5 seconds). I ran a PB with an injured leg. It hurt both physically and emotionally. But I did it. And never in my life did I think bronze would feel like a Gold.
I documented 2019 Nationals and the ups and downs on my Facebook page.
Now I am rehabbing and preparing to compete at the 2019 Oceania Championships in Townsville representing Australia! My performance at Nationals was gutsy enough to secure my place in the team. What an honour, representing Australia in my hometown.