Ellison High School seniors Lanijah Harrell and Leilani Dudley are headed to Frisco this Saturday to compete at the Texas High School Women's Powerlifting Association (THSWPA) State Championships.
“Seeing their dedication since they first joined powerlifting is something that I have appreciated as a coach,” commented Coach Miller, “both girls are integral members of the program and key to the team’s legacy and success.”
Harrell’s roots run deep in Killeen ISD, having attended Saegert Elementary School, Charles E. Patterson Middle School before landing at C.E. Ellison High School. Her powerlifting journey began after being introduced to the sport during her freshman year. She quickly became endeared with the sport. Lanijah earned her letterman jacket in her sophomore year, and first headed to regionals during her junior year.
Dudley, also a product of KISD, attended Timber Ridge Elementary School, Liberty Hill Middle School before landing at C.E. Ellison High School. Initially drawn to track, her powerlifting journey began early in her freshman year. She quickly learned what it meant to push herself beyond her comfort zone and has since been intrigued by the sport. As a freshman, she earned a spot on the varsity team and acquired her letterman jacket. Dudley qualified for regionals in her sophomore year and qualified for state in her junior year.
Throughout their powerlifting careers, Harrell and Dudley received support and guidance from their coaches, including Coach Miller, Coach Sims, Coach Snider, Coach Byrd and former Ellison coach, Sarah Stolley.
“Both athletes have proven to have a unique drive and determination that will take them far in life,” said Coach Snider. “We’ve seen Lanijah’s mental and emotional growth as she’s become more confident. And Leilani has always been the hardest working kid in the weight room. She’s never been okay with mediocre, and isn’t much for excuses; always pushing and never cutting corners.”
Coach Byrd added, “In the short time I’ve known them, I’ve seen their undeniable leadership and work ethic. They set a goal for their senior season, came in each morning and put in 100% effort to reach that goal. With their hard work and commitment to the program, I can say they are some of the hardest working student-athletes that I’ve had the privilege of coaching.”
Now in their senior year, both athletes are state-bound!
The Texas High School Women's Powerlifting State Championships will be held at the Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas. Both Harrell and Dudley compete on Saturday, March 18, 2023, in session 8, at 1:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased on Ticketmaster by clicking the following link: https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0C005E69AD591F75
(Special Thanks To Guest Contributor - Ms. Rascoe, “The Team Mom” )