Breaking News
More () »

Female powerlifter will lift up weights - and others

Kassandra Luna is one of the strongest women in her weight class, but her power is more than muscle.

High school powerlifters will compete in Waco for the Texas state championship meet this Friday. But it's not just boys pumping iron.

Girls like Kassandra Luna will step up to the bar. And she couldn't be more excited.

"It's like a jack-in-the-box, you're so happy!" she explained.

At five and a half feet tall and 180 pounds, Kass is one of the strongest women in her weight class. She qualified for state championships after making an 850-pound total lift at the regional meet.

"I can squat 365 pounds. My actual bench is 145, and my deadlift is 350 pounds," Kass said. She is hoping to hit 400 pounds in her squat this weekend.

The high school junior is a hard worker; she trains four times a week, attends meets on Saturdays, and often walks a mile to and from practice at Memorial High School.

But another reason for her strength stems from what she has experienced outside of the gym.

"As a young kid, I went through a lot of physical and verbal abuse," she said. "Family members would say mean things, like 'oh you're not this, you're not that,' this bad name...I guess I took it really hard."

That, on top of losing her home earlier this year.

"It was really hard for us to manage with this house we used to live in," Kass explained. "My parents and grandparents had a big argument and we kind of got kicked out of our house."

Instead of becoming discouraged, Kass became focused.

"I took that as motivation and turned it into something positive with powerlifting," she said.

Her coach says everyone in the weight room looks up to Kass - even though she isn't necessarily the oldest or most experienced lifter.

"Everyone looks up to her, everyone asks her questions. Everyone wants to lift like her, wants to lift as much as her," said Ruben Davila. "She's the best leader I've ever had on the team."

When Kass competes this weekend, she isn't just competing for herself. She is lifting up any girl who has ever felt weighed down.

"I want girls to see and say 'oh a girl from Memorial can do it...I can too,'" she said. "Hashtag girl power!"

Before You Leave, Check This Out