By Meliyah Venerable / Delta Sports Editor 

The Missouri Valley College Women’s powerlifting team had all seven of the traveling competitors qualify for nationals Saturday at the USAPL Missouri State Championships in Liberty, Mo. with two women finishing as the second and third overall female lifters. 

Rilee Stewart was the second overall female lifter, this included all the women in every division. She had a total of 327.5 kg, and also won the 53kg junior raw division. Shu’Ron Thompson was the third overall female lifter and won her division with a total of 275 kg. 

“I’m very satisfied with my performance,” Rilee Stewart said. “I feel that this has been my best meet yet in my entire powerlifting career. On top of that, my body didn’t feel destroyed after the meet which was a first for me.” 

This one was the first collegiate meet for the two freshmen Audrey Schoch and Rianna Taylor. The two ladies had a solid first meet and took first and second in the 84+ kg teen raw division. T’kyra Allen won the 57 kg teen raw division, totaling out at 272.5 kg. Sophia Bales also won the 84+ kg junior raw division, followed by Lauren Bates both totaling over 400kgs. 

“My goals going into the meet were to have fun and enjoy this moment as a senior,” Bales said. “My goal was to be coachable and to take criticism. My lifting goals were to get 9/9 lifts and 400+ pounds on squat.” 

This was the first meet of the year for Valley and the whole women’s team did not compete. Although, there will be two more meets before nationals in March, for the rest of the women to have a chance to qualify. The women and head coach Casey Carpenter are excited for the rest of the season, and ready to see what they can achieve. 

“For the women I expected us to be very competitive with the experience that we have returning on the female side, ” Carpenter said. “We really went in with the mindset that we wanted to qualify for Nationals, then push the limits a bit and try to win.” 

This is coach Carpenter’s first year as a powerlifting coach, and a first year coach at Valley. So this meet was not only a first for him, but a first for the ladies with a new coach. It was a successful meet, and the team is thankful to have him as a coach. 

“I’m very thankful that coach Casey is our powerlifting coach,” Bales said. “He not only cares and puts intent in our workouts but he understands and connects with us as people.”