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Ironton Junior High girl captures state powerlifting championship

Jamie Rodgers found an uplifting experience.

Powerlifting.

The Ironton Junior High School eighth grade student not only discovered lifting weights, she turned the hobby into a state championship.

Rodgers won the state powerlifting championship March 12 at Kenton High School as she claimed first place with a total of 495 pounds.

Rodgers had a bench of 75, a 190 dead lift and a meet-best 230-pound squat.

"It was pretty awesome," Rodgers said. "There were a lot of high schools there. I expected to win. I plan to be on the powerlifting team the next four years and I plan on winning."

Powerlifting began a little more than a year ago. When Rodgers first stepped into a weight room, she could only bench press the bar, squat 100 pounds and dead lift 100 pounds.

"I want to bench 100 pounds, I want to squat 300 and I want to dead lift 250. It'll probably take two or three years (to reach her goals)," Rodgers said.

Watching her brother, Nick, lifting weights generated a curiosity in Jamie.

"I was going to his meets and it just looked cool. But it was a little hard than I expected," Jamie said. "(Nick) tells me what I'm doing wrong and he's helped me get better."

Now Jamie lifts three times a week at Ironton Physical Therapy. She said lifting weights has helped her in a lot of different ways.

"It's helped me in track because I throw and it let's me meet other kids," Jamie said.

One thing that worried Jamie was the perception of other toward a girl lifting weights. That was quickly resolved.

"People think of it more as a girls' sport and not just a boy's sport," Jamie said. "I was worried about it a little bit at first, now all of them congratulate me and there are some other girls who want to do it, too."

Jamie said she gets plenty of support from her father, Chris, and mother, Denny.

"My dad has helped me get used to bench pressing. He just encourages me to do my best," Jamie said. "My mom thought it would be good. She's lifting now, too."

Success at the junior high level has only made Jamie hungry for future success.

"I want to go to college and still lift and still do track when I get to college. After college I'll still keep doing it," Jamie said.