Mansfield ISD girls lifting their fair share

Posted Monday, Nov. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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There was a time when girls played basketball with three players on each half of the court – with guards for offense and a forward for defense. Then, girls were allowed to wrestle on the mat – against one another. There have been a few girls who have taken to the football gridiron.

But powerlifting?

Although it’s not that new, Mansfield ISD schools have been participating in the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association events and competitions since about 2009.

Mike Hainzinger, the powerlifting coach at Lake Ridge, said it’s a great sport for girls who are now starting the 2013-2014 season with dedicated training sessions and practices.

“The girls are actually wanting to start earlier in the year now,” Hainzinger said. “There’s becoming more and more interest.”

Schools such as Timberview have already had state champions, with many Mansfield ISD athletes already holding regional records.

“With 11 weight classes for girls, it offers girls in lower weights an opportunity to compete, too,” Hainzinger said.

Initially, Hainzinger said much of the early part of the season is spent on safety and competition rules. The three events are deadlift, bench press and squats.

Now, in just the school’s second year, Lake Ridge lifter Julia Jones is eager to start her third year of competing. She lifted her freshman year at Venus, where she made it to the regional meet.

Jones doesn’t have a hulking physique. At 5-2 and looking to compete in the 97.5 pound weight class this year, she said she will never be “buff.”

Jones has set goals this year to hit 250 pounds in the squat, 225 in the deadlift and 120 on the bench.

“I won’t really bulk up,” Jones said, addressing the common misconceptions of women powerlifters. “I’m just toning my muscles.”

Jones said with all the Mansfield ISD schools involved in the sport, there is a local push to do their best.

“We see them in all the meets,” Jones said. “They push us to where we want to be.”

The girls, who work out about an hour and a half each practice, have more than the barbells to overcome.

“A lot of people think it’s just a guy thing, that girls aren’t strong enough,” Jones said. “We can lift more than almost half of the football team and prove them wrong,” she added.

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