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Augusta gymnast reaches nationally-elite level

Published: May. 6, 2021 at 9:02 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - In gymnastics, a perfect 10 is hard to come by. It takes skill, determination and a lot of preparation. In April the elusive perfect score happened for Augusta High School sophomore Keira Wells. She’s a level-10 gymnast, the highest level you can compete in the developmental program. Pretty soon, she’ll head to nationals to defend her title on vault.

For Wells, gymnastics comes easy. But to become one of the nation’s best, she combines her natural ability with a strong work ethic.

“She has definitely been committed to the sport for a long time. She works really hard,” said Jennifer O’Bar, Wells’ coach at JAG Gymnastics.

The love for the sport started at a young age for Wells. She’s been competing for years and found her footing at the national level, but indicated the team aspect of gymnastics is her favorite part of the sport.

“I love having my teammates with me. We all go through this together,” Wells said.

During the week, Wells and her teammates at JAG gymnastics spend about 22 hours working on floor routines, bars, beams and vault, Wells’ specialty.

“It just comes natural to me and I am very powerful, so I like to show my power through vault,” she said.

Last month, she was one of hundreds to compete at the Region 3 Championship in Texas. She left with a perfect 10 on vault and her ticket punched to return to the USA Gymnastics National Championship.

‘At first, I didn’t know what had happened because my teammate still had to go, so I was just trying to give her a pep talk before I go and I didn’t see the score at first until I looked up,” Wells said of her perfect score.

O’Bar described the Wells’ perfect 10 as “amazing.”

“Probably the only time that will happen to me in my coaching career, so it is definitely something to be excited about, something that (Wells) worked really hard for,” she said.

Next up, Wells heads to Daytona Beach, Florida with a chance to defend her title from two years ago. Nationals was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘She wants to get the most out of every turn she takes,” O’Bar said. “She is always in here working hard, trying to find out what she can do better on the next turn, which are the most fun athletes coach.”

Wells said she’s looking forward to competing at nationals and seeing the friends she’s made over the years. It’s also another chance to work toward her dream, competing for the Oklahoma Sooners.

“It would be really cool to be on their team and in the atmosphere,” she said. “Watching in on TV, it just looks so fun to do.”

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