A Tradition of Success: Girls weightlififting wins fifth district championship in a row

JAKE RAFFA, Staff Writer

   It’s every team’s goal to win a championship. However, for the girls varsity weightlifting team, it’s more than just a goal, it’s tradition.    

   “In the previous district, we won four years in a row,” Head Coach Amanda Dean said. “This year, they realigned the district to make it more competitive, and we still tied for first.”

   But the girls’ success didn’t just stop at the district level. Out of the 16 girls who qualified for the district meet, 15 of them went to regionals. Eleven of these girls made it to the podium at regionals. Overall, they finished third in the region, narrowly missing states.

   As their success grew, so did the number of girls on the team, which Dean believes helps the team improve even further. When the team started 7 years ago they had 8 girls. This year they had 74.

   “Anytime you have a team that brings in that many numbers, you’re going to find some talent and people who fall in love with the sport and train hard,” Dean said.

   Freshman Ella Malabuyo was a big contributor to this year’s success, and a prime example of the type of talent Dean described. Even though she just finished her second season as a girls varsity weightlifter, she has the clean and jerk school record for her weight class. She also made it all the way to regionals, finishing second in the district and fourth in regionals. She has made it to regionals during both of her seasons.

   Malabuyo believes a large amount of her individual success is thanks to the coaches, who she said helped her improve every day.

   “The coaches have really helped me push myself and get better,” Malabuyo said. “It’s really self-fulfilling when you see yourself improve and get stronger.”

   As her success in lifting grew, so did Malabuyo’s passion for weightlifting.

   “In the beginning, I just wanted to have fun and lift with my friends, but then I really started to enjoy lifting,” Malabuyo said. “Now I plan on doing it for the rest of high school.”

   Junior Morgan Delerme also played a vital role in the team this year. Delerme has lifted for years, and currently holds the bench, clean and jerk and total record for her weight class. This year, she placed sixth in her weight class during districts and eighth at regionals.

   Delerme thinks the majority of her improvements this year were due to her teammates and coaches. Working one-on-one, they were able to fix the minor details, which are usually paid minimal attention in lifting.

   “This season, we worked hard on skills instead of just lifting heavy,” Delerme said. “This definitely helped me improve, and I even broke records.”

   Regardless of individual accomplishments, both Delerme and Malabuyo are confident that overall, the team will continue to improve and achieve the same if not better levels of success as the previous years.

   “I think a lot of girls are getting more and more interested in lifting, especially after we’ve been so successful,” Malabuyo said. “Right now we have a pretty big team, and as the years go by, I think the team will continue to grow.”

   Chasing their 6th district championship next year, the girls’ varsity weightlifters look to have another very successful season.