After winning three state girls’ weightlifting championships in four years, there has been a virtual explosion of interest in the sport.
“Each year there has been an increase in the popularity of the program,” Coach Garrett Bagley said. “For the past few years, we only had one weightlifting class. As interest grew, it became much too crowded. This past year, we worked with the administration and they agreed to offer an additional class this year. As a result, we have 114 girls in the program this year.”
The classes will be divided into experienced lifters and beginners who are new to the sport.
It may have been somewhat intimidating for the beginners as they entered the weight room for the first time. Starting at 7 a.m. every morning, the sounds coming from the weight room are deafening.
State championship trophies line the shelves and photos of past champions hang from the walls. Team and state records are displayed and all who enter wonder how many will fall this year.
In the other half of the weight room, experienced lifters throw around 200-pound barbells as if they were a bag of groceries. Some lifters were attempting to match their best lifts from last year. On the last training day, ‘T’ Thomas bench pressed 205 pounds for a new personal best. Following tradition, she writes her new record into a book and rings a bell.
As the experienced lifters clang their barbells into the bench rack, the beginners start their workout practicing squats.
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