Girls Weightlifting Returns to States


Ella Craghill

Junior Alexia Steinberg lifts in preparation for the postseason. Steinberg was one of five girls to qualify for the state meet.


The Girls Varsity Weightlifting team had a strong year, with five lifters from the team qualifying for states. Clara Dowdy, Gabriella Cochran, Alexia Steinberg, Hannah Yared and Morgan Cox were all of the qualifiers for the state meet which took place on February 12th. The state meet was held in Suwannee with around 200 lifters competing.

Unlike the rest of the season, the state meet remained fairly similar to previous years. Masks were required to follow COVID-19 protocols, and there were two lifting periods during the day.

According to seniors Clara Dowdy and Gabriella Cochran, making it to states was a huge accomplishment.   

Cochran had come a long way since joining the team. She started weightlifting four years ago and has been on varsity since then.

During her time on varsity, Cochran had made the regional competition twice, but wanted to have a better performance to qualify for states. After regionals this year, she was seeded in the top 15 and qualified for states, where she ended up 13th in her weight class.

Cochran attended the state meet on the 12th and was able to break a couple school records while there.

“I feel like I did well,” Cochran said. “I went in hoping to break one school record and ended up breaking two.”

One of her goals was to have her name on the record book, and this year she was able to accomplish that.

“It’s a great way to end the season on a high note,” she said, “When you dedicate yourself to a sport so much, it’s rewarding to see the results.”

Another state qualifier was Clara Dowdy. Just like Cochran, she started weightlifting  her freshman year and has been competing at the varsity level ever since.

“Qualifying for states has been a goal of mine since my first year on the team so to be able to finally do that as a senior was a very emotional moment for me and my coaches,” Dowdy said.

She was very excited about being able to compete at such a high level and watch all the other top ranked lifters go head to head. However, Dowdy said she was unable to attend the state meet due to COVID-19 complications. Prior to the meet, she was contact traced and quarantined for two weeks.

“I was really disappointed,” said Dowdy after learning she couldn’t make the state meet and needed to quarantine.

Although Dowdy was saddened that she had to miss the meet, she understood she must take precautions and was still happy for her teammates who went and competed.

Both senior state qualifiers Cochran and Dowdy gave high praise to their coaches and those who helped along the way.

   “My coaches have been with me since my first year on the team and have always pushed me to go the extra mile when it came to lifting,” Dowdy said.

Dowdy recognizes the effect that her coaches have had on her performance and how much work they have put in to making not just her better, but the whole team better. She also acknowledged her friends who stuck by her side throughout the year as a key to becoming the lifter she is today.

As for Cochran, she is thankful for the coaches working with her to succeed and pushing her to work her hardest.

“I always get in my head and psych myself out when lifting in a competition, but with help from my coaches, going in with the right intentions and not being intimidated by other lifters truly helped with my performance,” Cochran said.

She is also grateful for her teammates who motivated her throughout the season on her road to being a state qualifier.

“The whole team is encouraging during practices and meets and we always cheer for each other when one of us surpasses our goals,” Cochran said.

Amanda Dean, the Girls Varsity Weightlifting coach, also recognized the team’s accomplishments this year.

   “It’s been a different year, but the girls have worked hard and it paid off,” Dean said.