Austin Simply Fit power lifters head to world championships

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Franki Spell, center, will compete at the International Powerlifting League’s World Championships in Las Vegas. STATESMAN/Reshma Kirpalani

Eight Austin women (and one guy!) who train at Austin Simply Fit are headed to the International Powerlifting League’s World Championships in Las Vegas, where they plan to hoist a whole bunch of weight.

Krista Bergeron, Nicole Gonzales, Franki Spell, Robyn Pettinger, Annie Diu, Lauren Goebel, Phoebe Morales, Martha King and Bruce Koch will compete Nov. 5-9. John De La Paz, Meryl Carey, Bonnie Thomas, Julie Novack and Dana Rygwelski also qualified, but won’t compete.

Nicole Gonzales will make her second appearance at the International Powerlifting League’s World Championships in Las Vegas. STATESMAN/Reshma Kirpalani

Nicole Gonzales will make her second appearance at the International Powerlifting League’s World Championships in Las Vegas. STATESMAN/Reshma Kirpalani

Each athlete gets three attempts each of a squat, bench lift and deadlift.

The team – which includes some really cool women who range in age from their 20s to their 50s – has been training under the direction of Mark Rogers, president of Austin Simply Fit. I wrote about the women’s training program at the gym a few months ago. (Go here  to read it.)

“This will be another opportunity to showcase our strength, perseverance and love for the sport,” Rogers said in a press release. “We plan to break multiple world records and have multiple athletes chosen to Team USA.”

The competition marks Gonzales’ second appearance at Worlds; the others are making their debut at the meet. Gonzalez, who weighs 132 pounds, aims to lift 900 pounds total and break the world record in both the squat and deadlift.

“I’m excited to test out all the hard work and dedication I’ve put in these past four months training to compete with the very best in the sport,” she said in a press release.

“I just want to do the very best that I can and improve on my previous lifts,” said King, 56.


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