Any debate over who the strongest girl is at Maryville High School should start and end with senior Chelsey McMichael.
Along with being a Spoofhound softball and basketball player, McMichael participates in club weightlifting and has been doing so since June of 2012 in the 75 kg (kilogram) weight class with the Wesley Weightlifters, coached by Dennis Snethen in St. Joseph. She is also a member of USA Weightlifting.
Over that span of time, McMichael has competed in seven meets in locales as far away as Houston, Texas and Matoon, Ill. She received first place in all of the meets in the 75 kg weight class except for the AAU Junior Olympics where she took second in the 69-plus kg class.
McMichael was named best lifter in two of the meets and has qualified for the Junior Open in San Francisco. Calif., in February.
"It's awesome when kids who in general assume support roles have the opportunity to find their own niche and excel," said Maryville head softball coach Tom Scarbrough. "That is what education and extra-curricular activities are supposed to be about. Not being the star and showered with praise, but taking advantage of the opportunities that come your way and finding yourself through hard work and success."
McMichael's personal bests are 83 kg in the clean and jerk and 60 kg in the snatch for a total of 143 kg.
McMichael recently became the only girl in MHS history to make the 700 pound club.
That required her to lift at least 700 pounds combined in the bench press, squat and hang clean.
McMichael landed right on that number, benching 170 pounds, squatting 330 and hang cleaning 200.
Chelsey's younger sister, freshman Elizabeth McMichael, is also involved in Olympic weightlifting. Both attended the meet in Illinois last weekend, with Chelsey finishing first and Elizabeth in third.
Chelsey is in the midst of her senior basketball season at MHS. She''s been on varsity each of the last two years. Chelsey started at third base for the MHS softball team in the fall.
Chelsey plans on continuing her weightlifting career in college.
"We saw the potential in Chelsey way before she did," said Scarbrough. "We encouraged her to come out for softball and basketball, the second of which she never had played. Her athletic ability, desire to please and overall good nature allowed her to be very successful as a softball player here for two years. She's the same type of player on the basketball court. She out-works everyone on either roster."