Samantha Montano – Mustangs ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – When a girl says she is part of a weightlifting team, she often gets shocked reactions. Weightlifting isn’t as commonly associated with girls as it is with boys.

A spiked interest in girls weightlifting has been noticed this year at LRHS.

Junior Campbell Kriso said, “The team grew an incredible amount since last year. Although there were few girls, the relationships built in the team were strong, and I definitely think these strong relationships are beneficial in helping the new girls in our expanding team.”

Freshman Alexis Rissler said, “I decided to join the team because it’s what my dad did, and he had many successes in the sport to see how I felt about it. I love the team and I love the sport and I am going to continue it throughout high school.”

The Mustangs’ last meet took place Nov. 17, and the results reflected well on the progress of the team.

Against Cardinal Mooney, LRHS won in both Olympic and Traditional categories.  The Mustangs won by 17 points in Olympic and 27 points in Traditional.

The points are added by individuals who gave it their all and lifted the heaviest weights in their weight group.

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Most girls on the team agree that weightlifting not only makes them physically stronger but mentally too.

“Weightlifting benefits me in many ways but mostly my mental health, it’s an outlet for me to clear my head and get stronger,” said freshman Olivia Vankirk.

Sophomore Sydney Oostendorp agreed.

“I feel that weightlifting has such a motivational environment around it,” she said. “Everyone is so supportive of you no matter the weight you can lift or how skilled you are. It is a great space to release your stress and get stronger. This sport surrounds you with people who are rooting for you to be your best.”