Wells continues to shine for No. 6 GVSU men

GVL/Kevin Sielaff
Sean Wells

GVL/Kevin Sielaff

GVL/Kevin Sielaff Sean Wells

Andy Smith

It seems Grand Valley State junior sprinter Sean Wells is adding to his Laker legacy every time he steps on the track.

Wells (Fox Lake, Ill.) is a returning USTFCCCA All-American in the 60 meter hurdles after earning a sixth-place finish at nationals in 2014. He notched 15 top-10 finishes as a sophomore, including 14 top-five finishes — seven of which were victories.

“He is a very talented runner who is very focused on what he wants to accomplish,” said GVSU head coach Jerry Baltes. “His very steady diet of hard work has equaled his steady progress that he has shown so far.”

Normally, one might assume an athlete would feel pressure in terms of duplicating such success as a junior. That hasn’t been the case in 2015.

Wells hit a provisional mark at the Mike Lints Alumni Open by crossing first in the 60 meter hurdles (8.02), improved that time with a first-place finish at the Gladstein Invitational (7.92) and won two individual events at the GVSU Quad (60 meter dash and 200 meter run).

Last weekend, Wells found added motivation at the Meyo Invitational at Notre Dame.

In the preliminary round, he completed the race with a time of 7.83 — which not only qualified him for the National Indoor Championships, but also broke his own school record set during last year’s GLIAC Championships.

In a field of NCAA Division I and Division II athletes, Wells finished fourth in the finals on Saturday, proving he can run and compete with anyone in the country.

“It was a really big meet,” Wells said. “I really enjoy the top competition and I thrive on it. It also gives me a big adrenaline rush that I don’t normally get at big meets at GVSU, and that’s because I am competing against many bigger Division I schools.

“I’m out there to prove to them what I know I am capable of doing.”

His ability, drive and work ethic have led to the success.

“His work ethic is what makes him great — his mental aspect and his ability to focus on technique during practice,” hurdle coach Keith Roberts said. “He also has a great winning mentality that separates the good runners from the great runners.

“It is a really great feeling for me to see him succeed and accomplish great things on the track. That is a reason I coach, to see my athletes succeed in every aspect of life, not only on the track but in the classroom as well.”

Wells returns to action this weekend when he and his Laker teammates host the GVSU Big Meet at the Kelly Family Sports Center on Friday and Saturday.