Heavy metal: Powerlifting duo prepares for competition

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FRIENDSHIP, Wis. (WSAW)-- The sounds of heavy metal echoes through the hallways of Adams-Friendship High School in Friendship, Wisconsin.

Inside the weight room, two athletes practice for a powerlifting competition.

"If you understand the sport, and you train it and you coach it right, you're going to do good," coach John Easterly said.

Taylor LaChapelle is good, and on the verge of greatness. Checking in at 125 pounds, the 2017 valedictorian squats 413, lifts 415 and benches 242.

"It's just, like a stress reliever for me, I guess. My happy place," LaChapelle said with a smile.

Alayna Easterly is just 14 and getting ready for her freshman year. It's more time she gets to spend with her coach, who she calls dad.

"I've pretty much been around powerlifting since I was born. But I started when I was 8," the younger Easterly said.

"We'll see where it goes," John said about Alayna. "She's young. You know. As she gets older, I hope it can continue. I enjoy it.

Alayna competes at 103 pounds, or 47 kilos. She squats and lifts 300, while benching 165. Numbers that have her ahead of Taylor, who is already a 3-time world champion.

"When I was her age, and when I was in that weight class, she's lifting more than I was then," LaChapelle said.

Taylor's coach, Brian Shekels added, "Alayna broke Taylor's deadlift record at the last competition. To see your lifter's records broken by your own lifters is pretty neat."

The powerlifting path next takes Alayna and Taylor to Orlando in late August for the Sub-junior World Championships where these two ladies make up an eight-person national team.

"My world team coach actually said if I break the total record and win, that I make a case for the best sub-junior lifter that there has been," said LaChapelle, who's already a 3-time world champion.

"I hope to break the record, the world record for deadlift, of 330, but I'm hoping to do more than that," Alayna said.

"This is the highest level that they can compete at," added John.

That's weight on their shoulders they gladly welcome.

Read the original version of this article at wsaw.com.