In her role as a student trainer, Gabi Buchanan doesn’t fret about getting grief or trouble from the athletes she works with.
That’s because most are aware of her strength as a powerlifter.
“Most of them know, so I’m not worried about it,” Buchanan said.
Saturday, the Decatur sophomore became a regional champion and earned a spot in the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association state meet March 17 in Corpus Christi.
Buchanan lifted a total of 890 pounds to win the 220-pound class.
“It was a good day, but a lot of work,” she said.
Buchanan was one of 16 Decatur lifters at the Region VI meet in Kennedale. Alexis Simmons took third, and Kirstin Nanny fourth in the 114s. Maci Mitchell took fifth in the 132s. Vanessa Martinez finished fifth in the 220-plus division.
“Only two of them had been to regionals before,” said Decatur coach Tim Mynarcik. “I’m proud of them. A lot of them improved their totals and did some personal bests.”
Buchanan turned in a personal best in the bench press, lifting 175 points. She turned in a squat of 380 and pulled up 335 on deadlift.
By her first deadlift of 300, she said she knew was reaching her goal of making it to state.
“My goal last year was to make it to regionals,” Buchanan said. “Now, the goal was state.”
She said the experience from last year’s regional trip helped her Saturday.
“There’s always going to be nerves, but they weren’t as bad,” Buchanan said.
She only started competing last year in the sport but quickly fell in love with it.
“I love lifting weights, and now I get to do it competitively,” Buchanan said.
Based on her regional total, Buchanan is seventh in the rankings among state qualifiers. She hopes to move up in competition next month and gain valuable experience.
“I have the goal of one day in the next two years winning,” she said.
It will be her first trip to Corpus Christi. She’s looking forward to soaking up the sun along with competing.
“It’ll be my first time at the beach,” Buchanan said.