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Tiny Tigress Takes All

Wrestler, Bella Wells

 

January 20, 2017

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Bella wrestles as a first grader

Fifteen- year-old Bella Wells has been making waves and setting records in high school Wrestling. Not only has she won numerous state and regional awards, such as taking first in the Women's New Mexico State Tournament and third in Women's Elite Freak Show, but she has also become the first female to win a varsity match as outstanding wrestler. She was not only the first female to win this for Aztec High School but also for the entire state. How does she feel about it? "I don't really go around telling everyone but it's really cool." Bella's mom, Amanda is very supportive of her daughter saying that she's a natural at Wrestling.

Bella started Wrestling when she was in first grade. Her older cousin, Austin Littlefield, did Wrestling and she wanted to beat him. They still both wrestle together and travel to matches. At the varsity match that Bella won outstanding wrestler, Austin also won in his weight class. Bella's older cousin is still the one she looks up to the most and also the one who pushes her to do better.

Wrestling is primarily a male dominated sport and there are very few other girls who compete, especially in New Mexico. Bella has some words of advice for other girls in the sport, "Don't give up, it's tough but you can be tougher. It's all about how you mentally prepare yourself." The athlete Bella most looks up to is Helen Maroulis an Olympic Gold Medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. She's a big inspiration not just for being a female wrestler, but also for her win against four-time Gold Medalist Saori Yoshida.

Most of Bella's preparation for a match goes on in her head with a lot of mental warm up and getting in the "zone." "I just try to go over the first moves I want to use," says Bella, "try and plan where I want the match to go." Before a match she has a pre-game ritual of pulling up her sock and the tongue of her shoe, "I don't know why, it's just what I do and I like it." After a match her go-to thing is either chocolate milk or an iced coffee.

One of Bella's biggest challenges in Wrestling is the natural strength of the boys. Obviously Bella can't out-muscle many of the boys she wrestles so she has to rely on her technique and speed to win. Much of her coach's strategy is "tilt to win." Bella said, "It's won me a lot of matches." As Coach Maxwell explained, tilting is a maneuver to rack up a lot of points without actually having to pin an opponent. Coach Maxwell's overall plan is the same for all of his athletes, to see them put maximum effort and improve in everything they do. Bella, it seems, has embraced this more than most. According to her coach she's a really hard worker and less challenging to coach, and she often outworks the boys.

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Bella and her cousin Austin Littlefied

While Bella enjoys Wrestling she's not sure how far she wants to go with it. She's trying to do well both in Wrestling and in academics, whichever will get her the best scholarship to go to college. She isn't sure what career path she wants to go into or what college yet but she is interested in medical. Besides school and Wrestling, Bella loves anything outdoors - which leads to the reason she won't be Wrestling any more this season. She recently broke her arm while on a snowmobile. We will be waiting to see how Bella comes back and does next season!

 

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