LIONHEART: Ipswich and District Athletics Club member Madison Wells enters nationals high on confidence after clinching gold at states.
TRACK AND FIELD: The Ipswich and District Athletic Club’s Madison Wells cast asunder the demons encountered during a traumatic season to secure gold at the Queensland Heptathlon Championships at QSAC on the weekend.
It has been an arduous year for Wells, who found out she has a hole in her heart and may have a serious cardiac condition known as Posteral Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).
But all that mattered little as the senior member of Vic Pascoe’s talent-rich squad demonstrated typical determination on her way to the top of the podium.
“It was definitely unexpected that’s for sure,” she said.
“I really had no expectations coming in.”
The West Moreton Anglican College graduate’s condition first came to light in October last year while competing in Cairns.
An irregular heartbeat prompted her to have further testing undertaken.
A visit to the Stress Test Cardiac Centre revealed the hole but its size is not yet known.
Initially, Wells found managing the symptoms she faced challenging.
The USQ Sports science and Exercise Physiology student had to learn more about her body and become attuned with its recovery process.
In between the heptathlon’s various disciplines as she waits for her next event her blood pressure dips, which can cause dizziness.
Throughout the state champs she wore compression stockings to prevent this from occurring.
She also routinely consumed electrolyte drinks, salt, magnesium and plenty of water.
For the most part it worked. There were only a few instances where she felt the symptoms, however, the setback has also presented Wells many mental obstacles to overcome.
It is here where she made great progress on Saturday and Sunday.
With faith in her body somewhat restored she is ready to tackle nationals in four weeks at QSAC.
Experienced at the highest level, Wells savoured silver medals at national in under-15, 16 and 17.
At just 18 years of age, she will have another year in under-20s but believes she is every chance this time around.
As she targets a podium finish and an Australian team berth for the Melanesian Championships in June, she is determined not to let her heart hinder her performance.
“You have got to push the symptoms behind you and put them out of your mind,” she said.
“I’d love to place at nationals. I don’t want to be dealing with that. I will need to be focused solely on my competition.”