By Dana Delgado
Aubrey Covington and Rachel Bachman faced many challenges in their first year as powerlifters.
They met them all.
This week, the two junior athletes are feeling pretty accomplished representing Liberty Hill High School at the Regional Powerlifting Meet March 1 at Gatesville High School, which gets underway at 9 a.m.
“We had one girl go to regionals a few years ago, but this is the first time we’ve ever had two,” said LHHS Powerlifting Coach Robert Draper. “It’s exciting. Both have good attitudes and have worked hard. I believe they both have a chance of medaling. ”
Covington will be competing in the 205 pound weight class while Bachman is planning to compete in the 97 pound weight, if she can meet the weight requirements. She has struggled lately to stay within the 87-97 pound range and has been closely monitoring and managing her diet. If Bachman exceeds the weight limit, she will not be able to compete. Bachman is feeling optimistic.
Bachman said she was unsure about her strength when she first started, but felt really motivated when others questioned her ability
“My friends doubted me at the beginning of the season,” she said. “It upset me and I told myself I could do it. After I qualified, my friends said, ‘Damn, Girl.’ I’m feeling much better now, even cocky and I want to earn a medal.”
This is Bachman’s first year in powerlifting. She previously participate in dance for two years.
Covington was self-confident from day one.
With the encouragement of her brother, Jacob, who also competes in powerlifting and her father, Sean Covington, along with two years in track and three successful years in softball, she was self-assured with her athletic abilities.
“I’m confident, but nervous going into the regionals,” said Covington who qualified in the final meet of the season and is in one of the toughest weight classes. “I just want to do my personal best.”
Covington said she learned of her qualification for the regional meet when her brother, who had been monitoring the website, texted her.
“I was pretty happy and didn’t expect much, but I was surprised,” said Covington, who saved her best performances of the abbreviated season for the season finale at Lago Vista.
She had a combined weight lift of 685 pounds in the squat, bench press, and dead lift to win the event in her weight class.
Both junior powerlifters said they have been training since December for about 90 minutes daily at home and at school. Covington follows a workout plan developed by Coach Draper and runs in the afternoons which she says has made her much more disciplined. Along with her dad and brother, Miss Covington says her mom, Julie, and younger sister, Abby, are major supporters of her efforts.
Although she has recorded many athletic successes, Covington says she is proud of being ranked number one in her class since her freshman year.
Bachman trains at school with friends who recruited her into the sport and then gets help at home from her father, Joel Bachman, who is a former wrestler and powerlifter and still actively trains. She is also encouraged by her mother, Barb.
Bachman qualified for the regional meet in the first meet of the season in Burnet. She placed second, but struggled with the squat lift until her third attempt when she finally completed her lift successfully. She says the experience has taught her to make sacrifices, but that it has been her biggest accomplishment.