13-year-old Diana Yturbe from Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey has officially proven that girls can be successful weightlifters at any age.
Yturbe competed on February 16th at the USA Powerlifting Youth Nationals in Spokane, Washington. She earned first place in her Youth 3 63-KG division and set new American powerlifting records with a total of 290 kg (639 lbs), deadlift of 137.5 kg (303 lbs), bench press of 55 kg (121 lbs), and squat of 97.5 kg (214 lbs).
Yturbe has learned to balance academics along with her training schedule. She earns all A’s at her school and serves as the treasurer for the National Junior Honors Society. Her father admires his daughter’s work ethic.
“To be honest with you, I got a little emotional, because she puts in so much hard work,” said Michael Yturbe.
Yturbe also participates in other sports. She plays softball for NJ Pride 14U, basketball, and tennis. Altogether, she works out four to five days each week at Pinnacle Athletic Development and Whippany Athletic Club. Her sessions last about an hour and she has trained for the past seven months.
Yturbe says she didn’t plan on competing in weightlifting but fell in love with the sport after a friend told her about it. Since then, Yturbe has learned that hard work pays off as she proves herself to be highly successful – so much so that she hopes to compete in the Olympics one day.
“It does not matter your age and gender. It is your determination,” Yturbe told CBS New York.
Yturbe’s efforts also impressed her coach, Mike Tiano, whose previous youngest student was a 15-year-old boy. Tiano stated that in his 37 years of coaching, he has never seen such outstanding talent.
“She has no fear,” said Tiano.
Yturbe has only competed in weightlifting for a short time, yet she still earned an impressive 286.80 points at the Philadelphia Love Championship in December.
Tiano believes that her previous softball experience helps her to win weightlifting competitions because she has learned skills that help her develop relevant techniques and remain calm during competitions.
“She’s an athlete already; that’s the first thing. She’s on the competitive softball team. She’s already in tune with what her body can do,” Tiano said. “And because she’s the pitcher, she’s not afraid of the moment. She’s composed; she learns what she learns and puts it into practice when she goes to the meet.”
Even the club owner, Kathie White, has noticed her skills.
“I think she’s doing great,” said White. “She’s so talented, and has picked this up very quickly. She’s a strong girl, a good athlete and a pleasure to work with.”
Yturbe proves that age and experience do not limit success. Her passion and achievements empower both young and seasoned athletes. As Yturbe progresses in the sport, she will hopefully continue setting new records and even top the boys’ scores.
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