By LINDSEY DYE
After not eating for an entire day, senior Kiersten Haddock breathes a sigh of relief as she qualifies for the weight class she wants to compete in for the first weightlifting meet of the season.
“We starve ourselves for the entire day before a meet then go out to eat as a team after. Not eating for the day ensures that we will make our weight class, and eating as a team is a really good bonding experience,” Haddock said.
After winning their first meet of the season against University and Freedom, the girls have high hopes. They expect to grow closer as a team and to place in metros by the end of the season.
To win a weightlifting meet, the best scores from the bench press and clean and jerk are combined. Haddock won first in bench press during the first meet.
“Weightlifting has met my expectations because I thought it was going to be fun, which it is. Everyone has a lot of spirit,” sophomore Emily Madigan said.
At practice, the team alternates days working on bench pressing and clean and jerking. Aside from winning their meets, the teams goals are to have girls go to states and place at that level.
“[Weightlifting] is almost like the passing down of leadership skills. We just work through losing so many seniors. One year leads into the next year, so if you don’t work at this constantly, you lose your skills. You can’t slack off with [weightlifting],” Haddock said.
To prepare for the meets, the team warms up with small weights, gets each other pumped and weighs in right before the meet starts.
“I prepare myself for the meets by going to the gym throughout the week with my friends and attending practices. It’s bad to be one of those people who is always slacking off at practice or not even coming because practice makes perfect. It’s beneficial to come,” sophomore Gene Trujillo said.
Most girls on the team joined to strengthen themselves for other sports such as cheerleading or softball. Bench pressing strengthens biceps which helps with pitching or being a stunt base.
“Weightlifting has gone beyond my expectations because I looked at it as a training program for softball, but it’s actually fun and worthwhile. It’s taught me life skills like determination,” Haddock said.