Georgetown and East View High School powerlifting students are not only building strength for health and sports performance, they are bringing home medals by the pound.
On March 17, six GISD students placed in the State powerlifting competition and the GHS team placed fifth overall.
Le Uyen Do represented East View with 3rd place overall in her weight class.
All of the GHS students qualified for Regional competition and senior Adriana Perez was named 2017 5A State Champion. Even more impressive given this is her first year on the team. Hannah Jett (12th) earned 2nd place, Kayla Wade (11th) was 4th Place; Kemble Cohern, was 7th place in her freshman appearance, and Bailey Armstrong was 9th place.
Participants compete in appropriate weight classes and winners are determined by the total pounds lifted across three standard lifts; squats, bench press and dead lift.
Coach Albert Bond has been a powerlifting coach for the past nine years; three years at GHS and has grown the team from one female team member to having several champions and dozens of medals. “All credit goes to them because once a few girls started enjoying it, we had more come out and spread word around the school, they became my best recruiting tool. They do a good job.”
Powerlifter Adriana says “Coach is very dedicated. He pushes us every day to be and do our best.” Bond must being doing something right because these teens are in the weight room at 6am three days a week for workouts. He also helps them with the science of their diet to stay strong enough to win, but light enough to remain in their respective weight classes.
The kids all agree the most challenging thing is the early hours but they love how accomplished they feel. They also appreciate the planning Bond provides on food. Kayla adds “We are kind of used to eating whatever we want and he really plans it out for us so we make weight.”
Hannah, who is a little shy but has a heavy stack of medals, holds the national teen record for the raw squat lift—a standard leg squat without belt or other aids. “We eat a lot of protein, and almost no carbs or salt, which is hard. But we also drink a lot of water and we modify what we’re eating, day by day, before meets so we maintain our strength but make weight.”
Tyler, a sophomore, added “I pretty much eat what I like because I’m in a bigger weight class and just need to be big for football.
Hannah joined the team when friend Lexie suggested they do it together. Lexie also recruited freshman Kemble as a 7th grader. She had been looking forward to getting on the team ever since and she was ready out of the gate, winning 1st place in her first meet. “I like that we feel like a family and there aren’t many sports where we really work as co-eds. We are not competitive amongst ourselves but we help each other compete in the meets.”
Tyler has been lifting weights year-round since the 3rd grade to be strong for football. “My dad always told me to start light, get big. Being big is better so I got big. I’m glad to be able to do well in both sports but I am definitely planning to play football in college.”
Before joining the team Kayla and Adriana were in the weight room all the time to get stronger for the track team. Kayla primarily does field events and says powerlifting helped her distances but also lowered her sprint times. “Coach Bond saw us in here all the time and said since we enjoyed getting big,” Adriana says, “we started picking it up more and we really love it.”
They all agree that being busy and involved helps them prioritize their time and keeps them motivated for that all-important college acceptance. Adriana says, “We all need to be well-rounded and we have to do a lot of things to be a standout because everyone does a lot of things. It helps to have this kind of structure.”
Kemble, just in 9th grade, seems to have figured it out already; “I personally feel like I have to do too much. I just do what feels comfortable for me and things seem to fall into place. I do have friends who seem to do it all and it’s motivating to see that as well.”
Support seems to be in their genes; those with a plan mentioned being in nursing or other care careers. But Tyler, ever focused, wants to be a football coach. He likes football.
Bond says while powerlifting is not a scholarship sport, it certainly helps students excel other sports and it is a competitive club sport at many campuses so it contributes to the well-rounded experience that may help them get accepted.
See them on Facebook at GHSPowerlifting.