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Minor injury becomes major comeback for powerlifter

Setting goals senior year is normal for most athletes, but after suffering an injury last year at the end of the season, senior Cardecia “CeCe” Franklin plans to beat the deadlift record this year and advance to the state competition. Last year CeCe qualified for the regional powerlifting meet after suffering a hamstring injury during track, the week before.

“At the region meet, I watched her in the stands, foam rolling, stretching, and heating her hamstring in between lifts at the region meet just so she could complete the next lift,” former powerlifter Kaywin McCall said. “She re-injured it during squat, but kept trying to recover in between, showing how much she wanted to win.”

The last lift of the meet was the deadlift, a hamstring dominant lift, and CeCe pulled 330 lbs and won the best deadlift of the meet, even with her hurt hamstring.

“Cece has strengthened a lot of her lifts since last year,” McCall said. “I’m excited to watch her compete and help coach her this year.”

CeCe has a plan to achieve what she wants to accomplish this year with hard work and determination. She has shown maturity in the way that she now knows how to warm up and cool down properly, which makes her more of a threat this coming year.

“The injury was a minor setback that taught me patience,” CeCe said. “I just need to be patient and work to come back even better.”

Her goal is to do the lifts properly and efficiently and to not only stay healthy, but to also get stronger without the chance of an injury.

“CeCe has developed a lifting technique in which she has exhibited at a greater leverage due to the technique,“ head powerlifting coach Robert Jesurun said. “Her intelligence in the sport has also improved greatly as she makes better lift poundage selections during a meet.”

Teammate junior Emily Phariss appreciates how CeCe helps with workouts, technique, and motivation.

“CeCe is very good at helping coach us,” Emily said. “She helps everyone and gives the whole weight room a calm environment.”

Powerlifting is an individual sport, but it has team aspects as well, like motivating, helping put the squat suit and bench shirt on, and spotting each other.

“The team doesn’t feel individual at some points because it takes almost everyone to help motivate each other,” Emily said. “For a lot of the lifters having the right music and people yelling at them is what is motivational. It’s all one big give and take; everyone does their best to help whoever is doing a lift at the moment also do their best.”

Experience is a big aspect of powerlifting and learning from experienced lifters is powerful because they know how the meet works and how lifts are supposed to be done and judged.

“CeCe has the most experience on the team,” McCall said. “We have a really young team this year, so the team depends on her. She is good with correcting form, knows the ins and outs of meets, and how to put on the squat suit and bench shirt, so the younger girls look up to her for help.”

Powerlifting is a tough sport, but the lessons taught will last a lifetime.

“I hope powerlifters learn how to compete against themselves, and learn how to push the limits of mental, physical, and emotional strength,” McCall said. “Powerlifting is a tough sport, it depends on what you do in your off-time, like the food on your plate, sleep schedule, workouts, etc. I hope lifters learn how to stay fit and healthy most of all.”

Powerlifting has taught CeCe that anything is possible when you have the will to achieve.

“Powerlifting has taught me that even when something seems too hard, I can always do it as long as I put I mind to it,” Cece said. “It’s a minor setback for me to come back. It taught me patience. You just gotta be patient.”

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