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Sophomore finds new community in powerlifting

February 22, 2022

Central hosted a powerlifting meet on January 22nd, breaking five records and coming in first place for both girls and boys.  

Central powerlifting is a sport beloved by many and brings forth a variety of people to compete. One of the members of this sport is powerlifter and soccer player Ann Carlson. Carlson began powerlifting her freshman year, but because of Covid, the sport did not have as large of a team. She originally did not express as much interest in the sport. 

I started powerlifting because two of my best friends were and I wanted to get stronger for soccer season. It also allowed for me to lift at Central which wasn’t an option otherwise because of Covid” said Carlson.  

Carlson looked at the sport as training for her soccer season but soon found out that she really enjoyed it. She soon made many friends through this sport and plans to continue it throughout her high school experience. Carlson was a competitor at Central’s first host of the season, and she believes this to be one of the most successful meets of the season. The school broke five records in total. She states that fellow powerlifter Ke’Ijha Hadley squatting 500 pounds was the most memorable moment of the tournament. 

“The best moments of the meet were watching Ke’Ijha squat 500 pounds. This was really cool because the entire gym was gathered around her cheering for her to break the state record,” said Carlson.  

 But Carlson also states that there is love on the team for everyone.  

“Everyone is extremely supportive of each other. People don’t care about where you start, only where you finish. No matter how heavy or light your weight is people are still cheering you on, which is honestly the best part,” said Carlson.  

Powerlifting is also an example of how other schools support each other. One of her favorite moments of the meet happened to be watching a lifter for Omaha North.  

“Another cool moment was when Jordan from Omaha North made his squat. He has Down syndrome and everyone was gathered around for him cheering him on” commented Carlson.  

Powerlifting has given Carlson many benefits alongside a great team that has brought her many friends and created a family. She enjoys the mental clarity that powerlifting brings her. She also likes how strong it makes her, both physically and mentally. Carlson considers powerlifting an activity that clears her head and makes her a happier person. Powerlifting also gives her confidence and drive.  

“Powerlifting helped me become a more competitive person and believe in myself before. Before I joined the team, I was kind of quiet and didn’t think I would ever be able to lift what I do now. Now when I look at a heavy weight, I start to believe in myself and know I can do it rather than shutting my brain out.” said Carlson.  

Carlson plans on continuing powerlifting. She is ready for a great finish to the season and excited for future seasons.  

“I do plan on continuing powerlifting throughout high school. It helps me get a lot stronger for soccer and allows me to meet more people,” Carlson said. “The coaches are amazing and supportive, and they create a fun environment that makes it feel like a family”.  

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