Lutcher High girls to compete in Africa in weightlifting
LUTCHER, LA (WAFB) - In a high school weight room, you expect to find sweat and grunting, but shrieks?
It's all part of the daily grind inside the Lutcher High Dog Pound. That's where you'll find some of the strongest young women in the world. They have the titles to prove it too, 12 consecutive state championships to be exact. Coaches John and Kelly Magendie have placed powerlifters in the women's world championships for the last several years, but never this many.
At this year's national championship, senior, Shyanne Naquin, broke her own record with a 245 pound bench press to finish first in the 72 kg weight class. Her sister, Shay, finished second. "It's good to have somebody that you're always trying to be better than," Shay said.
They are just two of the 43 young women powering through the summer in the Dog Pound. "Some of them want to be part of a team. Some want that ring," said Coach John. "Some use this to better themselves at other sports."
This September, the Naquin sisters will head to South Africa with teammate, Quamecca Stafford. They will make up nearly half of the eight member U.S. High School Powerlifiting Team. "It's kinda' crazy," Stafford said when she realized she was among the world's strongest teenagers. "It's like, a 'wow' moment. I never really thought about that."
The Magendies have a long history of building strong women. Their secret is more than just muscle. "Most of these girls come here with a lack of confidence. That's my number one focus: making them believe in themselves," said Coach Kelly. "It's them wanting to be part of something and knowing they are accepted and not going to be judged."
Most of the girls in the room consider the team to be a big, raucous family. "I love the attitude," said Shay. "They never pressure you to do something you don't want to do, but they try to bring you up to where you can do as much as you can."
The Magendies' other secret? "We coach them up, love them up, teach them how to work hard." They hope that will keep these young women strong long after they leave the weight room.
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