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Fairland#039;s Barbour finds her track success worth the #039;weight#039;

PROCTORVILLE - The weights made it worth the wait for Bethany Barbour.

Always the bridesmaid but never the bride, the Fairland Lady Dragons' junior shot put and discus standout hit the weights during the winter months to add strength and, hopefully, distance.

The plan worked.

Barbour said she fell in love with track when she began to compete in the seventh grade. She was always second or third in her meets, but that has changed this season.

Barbour usually wins the shot put and discus. She was the Ohio Valley Conference champion in both events, and she won the discus while placing second in the shot put at the Southeast Ohio Division II district meet.

"Bethany spent the winter in the weight room and that made the difference in her distance," Lady Dragons coach Mindy Chapman said. "She works a part-time job and comes out and stays here to midnight or until she works things out or gets it right."

Barbour holds the school record in the shot put at 36-2. She trails Britani Keeney for the top throw in the discus, but she had her personal best toss of 113-9 to rally in the finals and win the district title.

"Last year, I started in the winter and entered a weight lifting contest. I didn't place and all the girls were twice my size," Barbour said. "I stepped up my workouts and it's been the difference."

Through repetition, Barbour has increased her strength along with other drills.

"I've had a lot of weight training, but I listen to people and I work to get my steps right. I don't want them to be too long and I don't want to over-rotate my feet," Barbour said. "I have two really good coaches in coach Chapman and coach (Darryl) Woods."

Barbour said her goals were relatively simple in the early stages of her career, but all that has changed now that she is among the top 16 throwers in the regionals.

"All I wanted was to get the Fairland shot put record. Now I want to qualify for the state," Barbour said.

The chance to reach the state meet begins this week. The regional track meet will be Wednesday and Friday at Meadowbrooke High School in Byesville. The top four finishers in each event qualify for the state meet next weekend.

at the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University.