COLFAX, Wis. (WEAU) -- She may be small, but Mikaela Leibfried is pound for pound stronger than most people with the same stature. The senior powerlifter from Colfax is excelling in powerlifting competitions and is our Osseo Automotive Athlete of the Week. SportScene 13’s Neil Hebert has the story.
Something Mikaela Leibfried knew little about in middle school is now a lifestyle.
"I just enjoyed it,” Mikaela said of powerlifting when she started. “I guess I'm kind of short for basketball. Powerlifting: short girls are good."
As an 8th grader, Mikaela lifted, but it wasn't until Colfax powerlifting coach, Matt Demoe, saw unlimited potential.
"She started out with some great strength. I said, 'Hey, you gotta start powerlifting and see what happens.' She just ran with it,” Demoe said. “Every day, she's the first one in here and the last one to leave."
Now, Mikaela is a 114-pound powerlifting Wisconsin state champion. She's a beast in the weight room, but powerlifting wasn't always high on her list of to-dos.
"I played softball until this year. This year, I just want to stick to powerlifting because I'll be going to South Africa at the end of April for a bench competition,” Mikaela said. “We just want to focus on lifting."
Traveling with her to her competitions and supporting her every move? Her whole family: including her dad, Wade.
"Both of my kids, I get behind anything they're interested in and help push them in the right direction," Wade Leibfried said.
Powerlifting is something you can continue to do for a long time, and that's just her plan.
"I really want to compete until my body will not allow me to,” Mikaela said. “Even if my numbers start going down when I hit a certain age, like 30, I still want to lift.”
One of Mikaela's strong suits happens to be the squat. She's squatting 325-plus pounds, which is one reason why she's a state champ.
But she's not stopping there; this weekend, Mikaela will be competing in the national championships in Appleton to try and bring home the first national title back to Colfax.
"I want to get a 360 (pound) squat, over a 200 pound bench, and at least a 315 (pound) deadlift," Mikaela said of her aspirations for the national championships.
Those numbers will surely bring home some hardware.