Lauren Wells to be Inducted into the Coles Little Athletics Australia Roll Of Excellence
(Article sourced from Little Athletics ACT - http://actlaa.org.au/News/lauren-wells-to-be-inducted-into-the-coles-little-athletics-australia-roll-of-excellence)
Former Little Athlete Lauren Wells is to be inducted into the Coles Little Athletics Australia Roll Of Excellence on 20th October 2018 at the National Arboretum, Canberra.
Lauren Wells is a former Little Athlete and eleven- time national 400m hurdles champion and dual Olympian. In addition to being an elite athlete, Lauren is a passionate supporter of Little Athletics and an exceptional ambassador and role model who continues to inspire the next generation of athletes.
Little Athletics Career:
Lauren Wells started Little Athletics in 1993 at the age of five with the Corroboree Little Athletics Centre in Dickson, ACT and continued to participate for ten years through to the U15 age group. She enjoyed Little Athletics and participated in the full variety of track, jumps and throws events and even proved to be a handy race walker. Twelve years on, Lauren still holds a total of nine centre records for the following events: High Jump, 60m Hurdles, 1500m Walk, Javelin, 90m Hurdles, Triple Jump and 200m.
A talented all- rounder Lauren was selected at the age of fourteen in the U15 ACT Multi Event Championship team for the Australian Little Athletics Championships on the Gold Coast. It was around this time that she started training with Matt Beckenham, her present day coach.
Not surprisingly, the hurdles event was a favourite from a very young age. Lauren also enjoyed the social aspect of Little Athletics where she made many new friends, many of whom are still friends to this day. She maintains a close connection with the Corroboree Centre and has an annual trophy named after her. Her parents Kerry and Neil have dedicated many years of exemplary service to Little Athletics in the ACT.
Post Little Athletics Career:
Lauren has been selected in the Australian Athletics Team on eighteen occasions since her appearance at the IAAF World Youth Championships in 2005 at the age of 16 years and 11 months. She became a dual-Olympian in 2016 after being selected as Vice-Captain of the Australian Athletics team for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio, Brazil. Lauren’s consistency and durability over a continuous period of thirteen years on the international athletics circuit has been quite remarkable. In addition to representing Australia with distinction at the following iconic events, Lauren has a distinguished history of winning 400m Hurdles events overseas - in countries such as Belgium (where she ran a PB of 55.08 in July 2013), Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, and Japan.
After returning home from the World Championships in 2017 Lauren decided to return to an event she competed in at the World Youth Championships, Long Jump, and was successful in gaining a spot on the team for the Commonwealth Games in this event as well as her pet event of 400m hurdles and the women’s 4 x 400m relay.
· 2005 – World Youth Athletics Championships in Marrakech (Morocco) – Silver Medal in 400m Hurdles & 10th in Long Jump
· 2006 – Commonwealth Games in Melbourne (Australia) – youngest competitor in Australian
· T&F Team at 17 years and 7 months – Semi-finalist in 400m Hurdles, missed final by 1 place
· 2006 – World Junior Athletics Championships in Beijing (China) – Semi-finalist in 400m Hurdles
· 2007 – World University Games in Bangkok (Thailand) – 5th in final 400m Hurdles and 6th in Long Jump (6.40m)
· 2009 – World University Games in Belgrade (Serbia) – 5th in final 400m Hurdles
· 2010 – Commonwealth Games in Delhi (India) – 4th in final 400m Hurdles, 4th in 4x400m Relay
· 2011 – World Athletics Championships in Daegu (South Korea) – Semi-finalist in 400m Hurdles & heat of 4x400m Relay
· 2012 – Olympic Games in London (England) – Semi-finalist in 400m Hurdles
· 2013 – World Athletics Championships in Moscow (Russia) – Semi-finalist in 400m Hurdles
· 2014 – Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (Scotland) – 4th in final of 400m Hurdles & 4th in 4x400m Relay
· 2015 – World Athletics Championships in Beijing (China) – Semi-finalist in 400m hurdles & heat of 4x400m Relay
· 2016 – Olympic Games in Rio (Brazil) – Semi-finalist in 400m Hurdles
· 2017 –IAAF World Championships in London (England)- 7th in her heat.
· 2018 – Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast (Australia)- 11th in Long Jump, 10th in 400m Hurdles and 5th in the 4 x 400m relay.
Junior National Titles
· 2003 - 400m Hurdles - Under 17 Australian All Schools Championships
· 2004 – 400m Hurdles, Long Jump and 4 X 400m Relay - Under 18 Aust All Schools
· 2005 - 400m Hurdles, Long Jump - Under 20 Aust All Schools, Under 23 Nationals
Senior National Titles
· 400m Hurdles in 2005 (youngest winner at 16 years and 7 months), 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Lauren has eleven national titles in the 400m Hurdles, her 9th in 2016 taking her past Debbie Flintoff-King in winning the most overall.
· 2017 – 200m Hurdles – taking Pam Kilborn-Ryan’s 46 year old record set in 1971.
World Cup/Continental Cup
· 2006 - 400m Hurdles (9th 58.22 Final),
· 2010 - 400m Hurdles (5th 55.30 Final), 4x 400m Relay (4th 3.33.32 Final)
· 2014 - 400m Hurdles (8th 57.09 Final), 4x 400m Relay (4th 3.36.89 Final)
Australia vs England Ashes Match
· 2009 - 100m Hurdles (4th 14.25 Final), 150m (4th 17.72 Final)
2004 - ACT Sports Star Awards – ‘Junior Athlete of the Year’
2004 - Pierre de Coubertin
2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 - Athletics ACT ‘Athlete of the Year’
2014 - Athletics Australia ‘Flame Athlete of the Year’ – selected for being the best team person (selected by her fellow Australian athletes)
2015-16, 2016-17 – Athletics ACT ‘Senior Female Athlete of the Year’
Lauren has competed in the professional running circuit in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania since 2005, including racing at the annual Stawell Gift weekend on eight occasions. Highlights include:
· 2008-09 and 2009-10 – NSW Athletic League ‘Athlete of the Year’
· 2011 – 2nd Women’s 120m Stawell Gift Final
· 2016 – 1st Women’s 400m Final at Stawell (joining Cathy Freeman as one of only a few women to win this event as the back marker)
· 2017 – Finalist in the $40,000 Women’s 120m Stawell Gift
400m Hurdles 55.08
100m 11.83400m 52.82
300m Hurdles 40.75
200m Hurdles 25.79 (AR)
Long Jump 6.49m
In addition to being an elite athlete and Olympian, Lauren has also distinguished herself ‘off’ the field, becoming a highly visible and prominent personality in the Canberra sporting community.
Lauren coaches a small squad of young athletes and is a regular ‘volunteer’ speaker and presenter at Awards Nights for Little Athletics ACT and our Centres, as well as Senior Clubs. She has also been invited to speak to students at a number of Primary and Secondary Schools. Having already gained a Science Degree with a double major in Psychology, Lauren has now returned to the University of Canberra to obtain her Primary School Teaching Degree.
Lauren’s family has become synonymous with athletics in the ACT. Her father, Neil Boden, is President of Athletics ACT, an organisation that continues to support Little Athletics with volunteer officials, development support, and cooperation in the area of transition from Little Athletics to senior competition. Lauren’s mother Kerry began her association with the Corroboree Little Athletics Centre in 1992 and was appointed to the position of LAACT Administration Officer in late 2004, a position that was upgraded to Executive Officer, and held through to late 2014. Kerry is a Life Member of LAACT.
An Ambassador for the Sport of Little Athletics:
Lauren has always been extremely generous with her time. She understands the importance of giving back to the sport that has afforded her so many opportunities in life. Whether it be participating in programs such as the Kids Athletics Clinic in Stawell Vic (above), or taking time out for photos with fans (LAACT Multi-Event Carnival, November 2012, above right), Lauren’s commitment to athletics and the welfare of children is always apparent. At right, Lauren provides important tips on performing under pressure, as well as advice on managing expectation and disappointment, to the ACT’s 2016 ASICS ALAC team prior to their departure for Adelaide. She also emphasised the importance of having fun, growing through experience, maintaining balance in life, and supporting team mates.