Junior Christiana Ussery clears her lift. My first year of powerlifting has been such an amazing experience, Ussery said.
Junior Christiana Ussery clears her lift. “My first year of powerlifting has been such an amazing experience,” Ussery said.
Liv Simmons

Lifting Their Way Through

Girls Powerlifting Attends State

    She sits down in front of her teammates as they wrap her knees tightly. They help her up and allow her to cake her palms with chalk. It’s her time to shine as she steps onto the platform. She gets into her powerful stance, goes under the bar, and grips it tightly. The bar raises up, and as she goes down, the encouraging screams of her teammates and coaches drown out and the world goes silent. And, finally, she’s up. Three green lights. The lift is cleared. 

The girls powerlifting team had 16 girls competing at the regionals meet March 4 at Mabank high school, with six girls advancing to state in Corpus Christi. The girls team overall placed third at the meet.

 “I’m very fortunate as a powerlifting coach,” coach Jacob Alford said. “They never shy away from hard work.”

 This year, Zaniya Mumphrey is the regional champion in the 220 weight class, and she set a record of a 225 pound bench. Senior Brittany Chavez was regional champion in the 132 weight class, senior Taylar Ragland placed third in the 148 weight class, senior Jakaya Cooper placed third in the 259 weight class, and junior Whitleigh Hayes placed third in the 114 weight class. Junior Gabby Cabrera  is a regional champion, and set a regional record of a 260 pound bench.

“It’s been like a movie honestly,” senior and captain Mumphrey said. “From now to right now, thinking about it makes me emotional. I’ve worked so hard trying to get to the top and now I’m there. It feels like I’m dreaming, but it’s actually real life.”           

   Last year, Mumphrey placed fourth in the 220 weight class, Chavez placed 6th in the 132 weight class, and Hayes placed 7th in the 105 weight class at state.

   “I’m so proud of all the hard work that the girls and I have put into this,” Hayes said. “Powerlifting is an amazing sport, and to be able to go to state again is like a dream come true.”            

    In the sport of powerlifting, each individual competes in three events: bench press, deadlift, and squat. The girls on the team, despite it being an individual sport, are constantly working together and assisting each other with encouragement, emotional support, wrapping, and getting into and out of different suits. 

            “At the end of the day, we’re all champions,” Mumphrey said. “We are always attacking the weight room and trying to get better every single day we can.”

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