Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley

Student Athlete of the Week: Oskar Wells


April 12, 2018

Photo by Ed Navarro Niwot senior Oskar Wells (left) at the 2017 RE-1J cross country meet at Sunset GC in Longmont.

The Niwot boys track team is off to its best start in years, thanks in part to distance specialist Oskar Wells.

At the season’s opening meet on March 10, Wells claimed his first-ever individual title with a victory in the 800M, finishing in 1:58.61, a new personal best. Since then, the soccer-player-turned-runner has won the 800M at two more local meets, the St. Vrain RE-1J meet on March 22 (1:58.69), and the Lyons Invitational (1:59.19) on March 31. He has also raced on several of the Niwot relay teams, including the 4x400M team that took first at the Windsor Invitational with a time of 3:29.73.

“We always knew he had the talent, and this is like a breakthrough season,” Niwot head track coach Maurice Henriques said. “He’s just running with confidence. He’s going to the front and leading. He’s not cocky, but he has a swagger.”

Both Henriques and Wells credit “consistent training” throughout the year for his faster times on the track. Between cross country and the indoor track and field season, the senior has been competing almost continuously since last summer, which he hopes will come in handy down the stretch in the form of a state title.

“I’ve put lots of work in during the past eight months and it’s finally paying off,” Wells said. “My personal goal in the 800 is to run a sub 1:56 time, breaking my school record and placing top five in the state. I also have goals of winning state in both the 4x800 and in the 4x400.”

Wells is also the beneficiary of friendly competition from younger brother Emrick, a sophomore.

“I love having my younger brother on the team,” he said. “We commonly run the relays together because he is a sprinter. I get lots of adrenaline when I see him running the 4x400, and the second I get the stick, I take off. I wouldn’t trade anything in the world having him there with me.”

Wells joined the track team as a sophomore, after a stint with the Niwot soccer team, making him a relative latecomer to the competitive running world.

“I decided that I wanted to try something new, and running just stuck with me,” he said. “My favorite part of running is that you’re able to track the progress you make over the course of time. Unlike soccer, you can really tell when you’re improving based on what your times are. It’s nice to know that you’re getting faster after putting in so much work.”

Wells competes almost exclusively in the longer events, though he has had some success in the 4x100M and 4x200M relays this season, despite a distaste for sprints.

“My favorite event is the 4x400,” he said. “The adrenaline rush and it being the last event of meets makes it a lot of fun to compete in. I especially love it this year because for once our relay team is a state contender. My least favorite event would have to be the 4x100. I have a hard time building up the speed in such a short distance and sometimes I struggle with blind handoffs.”

Wells is as busy off the track as he is on it. The senior maintains a 3.9 GPA in Niwot’s challenging IB program, and serves as student council president. He is also a member of the Niwot High School Education Foundation board, the I Have a Dream Foundation, and a design advisory group for the school. Next year, he is off to CU, where he will study business in the Leeds Scholars Program.

Wells said he will miss the friendships he formed both with teammates and rivals during his time as a Cougar.

“My favorite memory at Niwot would have to be going to rival sporting events, basketball and volleyball in particular,” he said. “The energy of being in the crowd or leading the crowd reflects what I loved so much about high school. I will always miss yelling chants at Longmont or Silver Creek during rival match-ups and it’s hard to forget the different themed games that I partook in.”


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