BLS Powerlifting Powers Through Nationals


Coaches Cordeiro and Kelly lift the powerlifting team to unseen heights! (Source: Vincent Huynh)

This year, the Boston Latin School Powerlifting team has broken records with their powerful performance at the USA Powerlifting (USAPL) High School Nationals. Not only did many members qualify for Nationals, but they also competed hard to earn second place overall, complete with two podium finishers and a myriad of personal records!

Having accomplished their goal of qualifying for Nationals, the team worked hard to fundraise for their trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The dedication of the entire team allowed them to compete successfully and gain an extraordinary experience along the way.

While only two members qualified for Nationals in 2019, which was the last time the team attended Nationals, more than ten athletes made the cut this year. The team’s expansion in size and incredible work ethic resulted in  this drastic improvement. Many of those who qualified had been on the team for less than a year, and some lifters hit the required mark with only two weeks until the event.

The training schedule for the powerlifters consists of going to the BLS weight room three days a week to train for over an hour at a time. Head Coach Eric Cordeiro and Assistant Coach Rachel Kelly created programs and schedules for the athletes to follow. Even with this set agenda, members would often stay overtime in the weight room, training on their own time and over the weekends. This hard work and dedication undoubtedly paid off, proven by their extraordinary performances at Nationals.

The powerlifters often train on their own or in smaller groups, but the team camaraderie and support are strong nonetheless, as mentioned by Trung Le (I): “If someone is trying a weight they’ve never tried before, whether it be at a meet or just in the weight room, everyone will cheer and scream for each other.” Le also notes that these encouraging shouts could often be heard from the basement hallway.

Going into their meets, these athletes faced many struggles but were ultimately able to overcome and learn from them. In powerlifting, an athlete’s performance can be heavily impacted by nerves and stress, with the sport being so much of a mental game. It can be easy for lifters to get in their heads. It is even more frustrating to see an impact on their physical performances. Despite this, the powerlifters were able to stay motivated and pushed themselves to do the best they could.

At the USAPL High School Nationals, where over 600 lifters nationwide compete every year, the BLS team performed amazingly both on and off the platform. Not only did two of the athletes take their spots on the podium, but the members were also able to channel their energy into succeeding, both individually and as a team. They celebrated their accomplishments and experienced the joy of their successes. These athletes feel supported knowing that no matter what happens, they have their teammates behind them, cheering from the curtains. 

President Helena Huynh (I) highlights the general sense of encouragement within the sport, “BLS students cheered at the top of their lungs for lifters from different schools, showing the resilience and support that surrounds the entire powerlifting community.”

Powerlifting is a selfless sport and the members of the BLS team display this virtue with their astounding support towards each other. Even if an athlete had endured a rough day or experienced failure, they would still show up and be there to cheer for their teammates.

 As Assistant Coach Kelly reflects, “It gives me so much joy to be able to help introduce so many students to the wonders of the sport so early on in their lives. Our kids are extremely focused, dedicated and supportive of each other and I am lucky to be able to support them in their powerlifting endeavors!”

The BLS Powerlifting team showed amazing resilience and strength at the USAPL High School Nationals, earning them two podium finishers, second place overall and even more personal records. These athletes will only continue to break more records, and we are excited to support them along the way!