Finding My Balance

Laynee Wells lives her life with the theme of ‘making every second count’. For most teenagers, 5:30 am is still sleeping hours, but kicking off her day with a 3-mile run, Laynee sees the early morning hours as an additional training opportunity. Concluding a full day of school then going on a second run, is part of Laynee’s regular routine. Understanding what is required to be a strong competitor, Laynee views personal training as work she will do, and a sacrifice she will make.

Desert Hills Class of 2017 Cross Country & Track 4.0 GPA

Laynee values her academics and has set high standards for herself in schooling. A strong student-teacher relationship is worthwhile when it comes to participating in sports.Laynee knows her instructors play a significant role in maintaining her prized 4.0 GPA, “I want to keep it as long as I can at a 4.0, to be perfect in that one thing. This next year will be hard for me with the classes I am planning on taking but I will try my best.” Despite her rigorous schedule next year, consisting of Honors and AP courses, and a College Physics course, Laynee plans to keep a positive outlook. “There will be a lot of communication with my teachers so that I am on top of things.” 

“It is the best feeling knowing that everything that I put myself through up to that moment was worth it. I just want to be on top of my game throughout the whole season, to always get better and improve on how I compete in State. It becomes mental now and I just want to get that State Championship.”

Choosing to follow the advice of her school counselors and avoid “adding too much stress,” Laynee made the mature decision to put off Medical Anatomy for another year. However, Science and Medical Anatomy will be in her future entering the professional world of Physical Therapy. “I like science and think it’s really cool. I really like helping people and would want to be able to help them overcome any injuries.”

Canyoneering and rock climbing are some of Laynee’s hobbies; making it clear that the outdoors is a place she is comfortable. She explains, “I just love being outside.” It comes as no coincidence that Cross Country and Track are the sports of her choice. Although, ask her to select which of the two she favors the most, and you’ll find the two sports are equal in contributing to Laynee’s passions. “It is a nice balance. With Cross Country I have different course settings and longer runs that challenge me, and with Track, I just love going fast!”

Practices held after school are followed by weights, calisthenics, and the occasional ice bath, before Wells has the opportunity to get home and start on the pile of homework. Acknowledging that it can all be tough to manage at times, Laynee displays a level of commitment and work ethic that is difficult to match.

Such dedication led to winning Region in Cross Country this past season, an accomplishment that has most definitely been a highlight for Laynee, and her Cross Country team at Desert Hills. “I would go back to that day and relive it over and over if I could.”

“With Cross Country I have different course settings and longer runs that challenge me, and with Track, I just love going fast!”

The idea that Laynee has achieved all that she has is one that greatly impresses her mother, Shana. “It’s a pretty crazy schedule she has set for herself, and the fact that she can do that without taking the easy way out, it’s incredible to me.” A hard working student, aggressive athlete, and at times a loving second mom to younger siblings, “incredible” is a proper description of Laynee. Her mom expands, “She comes home, and I still have expectations of her too. Chores, cooking… Sometimes I will say to her, ‘Laynee, you have dinner tonight,’ and she will do it. She just loves it, and I love that about her.”

Ask Laynee what her favorite food to cook is and her response will be quick. “Enchiladas, red ones. I cook them for myself almost twice a week!”

Between Cross Country and Track, the Wells family has spent a fair amount of time on the road traveling to catch sight of their daughter competing, and their support has not gone unnoticed. “It means so much knowing that my family will drive, sometimes for hours, to see me run a single race.” Laynee’s three younger brothers provide additional encouragement in her endeavors, and their big sister’s competitive spirit and attitude has begun to rub off on one brother in particular. Laynee’s mother explains, “He is already beginning his training to follow in his sister’s footsteps.”

“I have not taken the ACT yet, but a lot of the Cross Country kids are scoring 28. Even with so little time to study, I know I can do well,” says Laynee. Many teachers and coaches have worked together to mold Laynee’s perspective and ensure that she understands that she is a student first, and athlete second. “We learn that we need to push ourselves to really work on our grades and keep them up.”

Laynee has a big heart, and serving others is something that she does not overlook. Whether it be in National Honor Society, or assisting with blood drives with HOSA, a national student organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education (HSE) Division of ACTE, she sets an inspiring example. Taking part in a shoe drive, gathering 50+ bags of shoes for kids in a 3rd world country, Laynee stands to do it all.

“I feel like I have such high expectations for myself that my greatest fear is not hitting the mark I set for myself in and out of sports.” Yet with devoted Laynee Wells, the question of hitting and exceeding her mark is not a matter of “if” it will happen, but a matter of “when” it will happen. • HSSI