By MITCHELL DALE
AFTER a string of impressive results, Coffs Harbour triathlete Matthew Werrell no longer needs to introduce himself to the best in the business.
They already know who he is.
But just having them know his name isn't enough for Werrell anymore.
Now he wants to beat them.
When asked to give his triathlon highlight, Werrell said: "It would probably be when some of the top athletes have recognised me."
"But now I don't just want them to know I am there, I want to beat them," Werrell says.
The 17-year-old will have an ideal chance to further boost his profile next month at the star-studded Geelong triathlon.
"Geelong is part of the National series and is one that everyone goes for," Werrell said.
"It is a good way to gauge how I am going.
"All the top competitors will be there.
"I have raced them all at different times, but not together at once.
"It will be one of the biggest races I have done, if I do well it will open up doors for me."
Werrell claimed the National Under-19 age group title over the Olympic distance at the Bananacoast triathlon, but said the result was not against a full-strength field.
"The Junior Elite Sprint series was on at the same time, so a lot of the Under-19s went in that," he admitted.
"It was about 50-50, 50 percent of the good ones were in my race and the other 50 were in the junior sprint."
While Werrell is steadily building a name for himself, he won't be jumping into a move to the professional ranks too soon.
"I want to go pro eventually, but I want to make sure I keep enjoying myself," he said.
"I see a lot of young guys who are on fire one year, but by the next season they're back to being unknowns.
"I don't want to jump into the pros too early, get my arse kicked and say I've had enough of this.
"I'm not saying no to turning pro, when I can handle it, it will be good.
"At the moment, my main goal is just to enjoy it."
Werrell has started 2005 with a flurry of impressive results.
At the Noosa triathlon, he finished third in the Under-19 division.
"I normally kick off the year with Noosa, it's the first one I do and normally the biggest," he said.
"Third was the best result I have had at Noosa and I still have two years left in the Under-19 division, so my next goal is to win it."
Late last month he finished third overall at Trial Bay, near South West Rocks, beating over 300 competitors over the line.
A former pool swimmer and part-time mountain bike rider, Werrell admits the running leg has been his Achilles heel.
But he is working hard to get his running leg up to speed.
"Running is my weakest leg, but I am working on it with James Moncada and it is starting to improve," he said.