The Weightlifting Grind

Angelina Belanger becomes a star on the weightlifting circuit.


Angelina Belanger

The Suncoast Wrestling Team poses for a group photo in the weight room.

Jad Dargam, Editor-in-Chief

Angelina Belanger, a sophmore in the IB program, competed against Jupiter High School along with the rest of Suncoast’s Weightlifting Team on November 25. Belanger, who is “always in competition mode,” won first place in her weight class and helped Suncoast beat Jupiter HS in the tournament. 

Prior to weightlifting, Belanger competed in CrossFit and gymnastics for over ten years. Belanger said, “CrossFit and gymnastics made me prepared for weightlifting by making me agile, strong, mentally prepared.” Belanger competed in weightlifting since she was a freshman and has since qualified for state competitions. In 2021, she ranked third in Florida and seventh in the country for her weight class and age division. 

“I push myself in order to stay on my grind, so I can improve and stay motivated,”  said Belanger. However, it is not always that easy being a student at Suncoast. Belanger has to balance seven different classes with after-school practices for weightlifting. This has taken a toll on her life. “It makes me stressed out. Sometimes, I have to attend after-school tutoring but miss my practices, so I have to find a way to balance the two activities,” she said.   

A way that Belanger combatted stress from school and sports was by working out. Belanger said, “Working out has made me a better person because it gets me into the right mindset and motivation.” She does a regiment of exercises in order to build her strength while doing something she loves. “Working out gives me an outlet to build confidence and is enjoyable because it is actually something I’m good at,” she commented 

Belanger prepares for competitions by performing a variety of workouts outside of school and with her team. “I prepared by bouncing between team practice and going to the gym, and doing squats, dead-lifting, clean and jerking, bench presses, and snatch exercises.” For a competition against Dwyer High School on November 30, Belanger was “excited” and said she had “…to go in with the mindset that I’m going to win.” And she did, with Suncoast beating Dwyer in the  tournament and Belanger ranking first again. 

Belanger tells students like her, “If you are interested in weight lifting, I say give it a shot because it is fun and helps you stay fit.” She is not planning on quitting anytime soon, and wants to stay with the Suncoast team until she graduates.