Wednesday, March 3, 2021
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
For the second consecutive year, versatile Sasha Wells was named the Most Outstanding Championship Performer, becoming the first athlete to earn the feat at the Summit League Indoor Championships more than once.
“It feels good. This meet was interesting because this year I was having a few difficulties with some of my races like finding my rhythm in my hurdles because I changed up my approach, so it feels good to come out and see my performances acknowledged in the form of these awards,” she told The Tribune.
“I was a little disappointed that I didn’t retain my 60m title, but that race showed that there are some things that I need to work on. I was really proud of my 200m. That was a two-tenth PR for me, so I can’t be bad at it.”
On Sunday, Wells ascended the podium four times after she repeated as champion in the 60m hurdles in 8.54 seconds, relinquished her 60m title with a second place in 7.61, got third in the 200m in 24.27, and anchored the Golden Eagles’ 4 x 400m relay, that included Bahamian Gabrielle Gibson on second (other two members were Tay-Maro Powell-Peters and Victoria Neville on pop off and third legs respectively), to third place in 3:49.85.
It was a post 22 birthday present for Wells, who celebrated on February 15 with her sister, Sierra, and her roommate, Victoria Neville. That coupled with the fact that she’s been pushed by the coaching staff has helped to inspire her.
But despite her achievement, Wells said she wouldn’t mind turning in the accolades for a berth in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Indoor Championships.
“I was hoping to make it in the hurdles, but with all of the conference championships held this weekend, I dropped to about 25th on the list, so I didn’t make the top 16 cuts, so I won’t be going,” she said.
“I needed to at least run my PR in the hurdles in order for me to have any chance of getting in. That was probably my biggest disappointment for this weekend because my goal was to make it this year, but we will have to move on.”
At the meet, Wells led a contingent of Bahamians who competed for Oral Roberts and North Dakota State. She was very proud of all of them, including Daejha Moss, who earned the most outstanding field award.
“It was nice to see them all succeed. I know Daejha Moss was struggling with some injuries, so it was really good to see her earn her awards,” Moss said.
“Amelia Peterson (of Western Illinois) medalled in the triple jump, Bradley (Dormeus) won in the 400m and Gabby (Gabrielle) and Indea (Cartwright) both competed against me, so it was nice to see that they all did a very good job.” At the end of the month, Wells will be switching her focus to the outdoor season and hopefully repeating as the Summit League 100 and 100m hurdles champions, earning a trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships and the postponed 2020 Olympic Games, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan in the summer.
“I’m just going to start my transition to outdoors and trying to attain my goals,” she declared. “I think the fact that we didn’t have a season last year and the Olympics was postponed because of the pandemic, I got a little more time to refocused on some technical stuff that I had to work on.”
Wells is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her father, Renward Wells, the Minister of Health, who was a two-time Olympic sprinter for the Bahamas during his heyday out of Oral Roberts as well.
“Before he officially retired, I have memories of going to the track when I was around four-five years old, and that sort of inspired me to enjoy running track,” she said.
“And obviously, I would like to follow in his footsteps, going to the Olympics, holding the national records and stuff, so that’s a big inspiration for me. And my parents really push me to be the best that I can be in athletics and academics.”
Wells, the Free National Movement (FNM) Member of Parliament for Bamboo Town, said his daughter has always been a very dedicated and determined individual in whatever she puts her mind to do.
“She always goes forward and accomplishes it with excellence,” said Wells, of his daughter, who is also an advert reader, having read more books than he has ever opened and studied.
“My daughter is truly a gift from God, and I am happy to just contribute to her life and try to steer her down the path that God has declared for her. I constantly pray over her and speak blessings over her, as I do, for all of my children succeed in whatever endeavours that they pursue.”
Unlike him when he competed in the men’s 100 and 200m, Wells said his daughter has shown that resilience to mount a comeback and close out a race,” he reflected.
“I was a fellow who was fast from the crack of the gun and faded as the race went on. She is able to endure. That is the hallmark of a great sprinter. She’s extremely dedicated and determined when she put her mind into anything should do.”
Wells is the proud parents of five other children, include Sethren, a men’s hurdler, who graduated from Oral Roberts. The other three children, Soren, Soraya and Sakarren, are all home-schooled by their mother, Sarah.
With each meet and each season, Wells said her ultimate goal is to get better and better and to make her parents and the Bahamian proud of her achievement.
As the team captain at Oral Roberts, Wells said a lot of people rely on her for advice and encouragement, so they are motivated, even if they don’t come through successfully.