Posted at 1 p.m., Oct. 18, 2013

Fancy footwork

Forward/midfielder Sayit Mejia Bello from Bogota, Colombia, is making her mark in the college's record books. The sophomore has recorded the second most assists in a season by any women's team and third most assists in a career, with serveral games left to add to her totals.

Photo by Vycktoryja Selves

Midfielder ranked 8th in nation in assists

By Vycktoryja Selves
Photo Editor

As the wind howls with a fall chill, and rain continues to drench everything, soccer players from Laramie County Community College women’s team push themselves to keep the 5-to-1 lead against Northwest College.

When the final buzzer goes off, signaling the end of the game, midforward No. 14, Sayit Mejia-Bello, cannot help but smile even after a hard-fought game. Knowing she pushed herself to help keep the lead makes the awful weather seem like nothing. The field is her home.

“Soccer is how I enjoy life,” said Mejia-Bello, who is from Bogota, Colombia. She grew up with soccer most of her life, playing every weekend at the park with the boys in her neighborhood. Now attending LCCC as a general studies major and playing on the NJAAC Division I-ranked No. 3 team, Mejia-Bello continues to do what she loves.

While Mejia-Bello may be ranked No. 8 for assists in the NJCAA Division I and receives a lot of playing time on the field, even more time goes into studying. Grades are an important part of an athlete’s college career, helping four-year colleges filter for who not only plays well and those who are a full, packaged deal, combining smarts and athleticism.

Jim Gardner, the head coach of LCCC women’s soccer team, said Mejia-Bello is “a hardworking person” on and off the field. By channeling her dedication and determination, “she'll be able to go to a lot of places,” Gardner added.

As an international student, Mejia-Bello experienced huge changes coming from her home in Colombia to Cheyenne. One of the biggest was the space. She said: “Where I lived it’s like a lot of people, cars, buildings; here it’s like cows, bench, cow, bench, bench, cow. And everything here is far away. In Colombia everything is close.”

Compared to living in the largest city in Colombia with an average population around 8 million, Cheyenne’s 60,000 people seems like a ghost town. When Mejia-Bello first came to the West, she was surprised at what she saw. “I never in my life saw a cow or a cowboy with the hat and cowboy boots,” she recalled.

After LCCC, she said she wants to study architecture, an influence from her father, with whom she worked during the summer.
Mejia-Bello said: “I have a lot of schools email me and tell me their interested in me, but I don’t know yet. I just want my major.”

While attending LCCC, Mejia-Bello said she enjoys her classes, especially ceramics.

On the flip side is a part of college she does not like. “I hate to speak in front of people,” she said. “I panic, and I don’t know what to say. I forget all my English.”

However, once she is comfortable with a group of people, she feels relaxed enough to have fun.


Women's Soccer