NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

February 1, 2014

Little making waves

Seabrook's Ashante Little a standout athlete, mentor at Wheaton College

Athletes like Ashante Little force Shawn Medeiros to work late Saturday nights writing about her exploits from that day’s track and field meet. She is constantly adding to his workload. A lot.

Medeiros is the sports information director/webmaster/all-things-PR guy at Wheaton College in Norton,and Little, a Seabrook, N.H. native, is one of the best female sprinters the school has ever had.

Little is also the kind of athlete Medeiros doesn’t mind talking about.

“She certainly doesn’t make it easy for me,” he joked. “I end up having to research a lot of things.”

By “things,” Medeiros means school records. Little has three so far – the outdoor 100 meter hurdles (13.89 seconds) and the indoor 500 meters (1:14.33) and 600 meters (1:37.09) – and is a whisker away from several more.

Little enters her senior indoor season having won the NCAA Championship in the 400 meters last May. She has goals that include an encore and those that stretch past college. She’s not exactly resting on her laurels.

“I think now that I’ve reached one of my goals, it has sparked a hunger for more,” Little explained. “I wouldn’t be satisfied settling with what happened last spring.”

A nine-time All-American, Little has virtually booked her place for the NCAA Championship in two events already, and it’s happening sooner than last season. She is racing in Division I meets and just beginning to post marks that are among the best in Division III.

Last week, Wheaton took part in the high-profile Boston University Terrier Invitational, in which she placed eighth in the 400 meter dash in 8.95 seconds. She was the only Division III athlete in the final which included two postgraduate and five Division I sprinters.

Little was also a member of the Lyons’ 4X400 meter relay team which placed 16th in 3:55.43, but tops among Division III schools.

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