Pulling their weight through states


Courtesy of Alexia Thompson

Strength in Numbers: The girls weightlifting team competed together at districts, Alexia Thompson was one of the girls who continued onto regionals.

It takes an abundance of strength and determination to do something as physical as competitive weightlifting.

This year, the girls weightlifting team has put in a degree of commitment never seen before.

Weightlifting is very different when it comes to competition. “There are 7 groups that are broken by weight classes. Only two girls per group can lift for points. At the end of the competition we tally up all the points and the team of girls with the highest amount of points wins,” said head coach of the weightlifting team DeAndre Simmons.

On Thursday, January 16, the team won their fourth competition and were undefeated for the season.

“Competitions are exhilarating and a very fun experience. Everyone cheers on one another giving the lifter confidence and support to hit the weight,” said sophomore Bridget Wawrzyniak.

Simmons trains the girls very hard to help get the best out of them. “I train them like I train the football team. The girls like to be challenged physically. I actually have a few girls who are stronger than a few guys on the football team,” Simmons said.

The team always pushes and keeps on going. “The weight room is a very supportive environment and coach Simmons always motivates us to keep pushing even when it gets hard. Our team always has one another’s back and forces one another to never give up,” Wawrzyniak said.

They have worked and improved greatly especially from previous years. “We have broken literally every school record this season, my first year being head coach,” Simmons said.

The individuals on the team are continuing to grow. “I am finding strength within myself that I never knew I would be able to find…It feels like I’m taking more steps every day to become the woman I want to become. I get to discover my true athletic abilities,” senior Alexia Thompson said.

“Weightlifting has made me a stronger person and has changed me mentally and physically. This sport makes me push harder than ever before,” Wawrzyniak said.

On Saturday, January 25, the team went to districts and did amazing. “I was extremely proud of all the young ladies that competed. Not only did they give it their all, they also represented the school in a professional way,” Simmons said.

Five girls from the team continued on to regionals, including Margaret Wawrzyniak, Bridget Wawrzyniak, Ashlynn Butterfield, Chantal Ferrer, and Alexia Thompson.

“It was kind of nerve racking having to compete against that many girls but knowing that I had support from my whole team and my family made the experience really special,” said Wawrzyniak, who placed sixth in the 139 lb. class.

This team is like nothing ever seen before.

“We have broken literally every school record this season. This is my first year of being head coach, and to be able to rewrite the books is great,” Simmons said.