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Henderson girl, 14, eyes CrossFit Games after winning weightlifting medals

Fourteen-year-old Marya Drabicki remembers when she could barely finish her CrossFit workouts.

“I almost died the first time,” she said. “I liked it. It was just hard.”

Nearly five years later, Drabicki is winning gold and silver medals at national weightlifting competitions with a plan to attend the CrossFit Games. She also recently found out she was sponsored to do a weeklong training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“I found out this morning and couldn’t stop screaming,” she said. “I’m going to get a USA singlet with my name on it.”

It’s hard for her to believe how far she’s come.

Drabicki, who was also playing tennis, started doing CrossFit at 9 because she was overweight.

“I was super obese,” she said. “I was about 190 pounds. I’ve lost 60 pounds.”

It wasn’t an easy task. Joining the gym, she couldn’t do many of the exercises. But she soon found out that some challenges were worth it.

For at least two days per week, Drabicki, who is home-schooled, would wake up at 7 a.m. and drag herself out of bed to make it to CrossFit Henderson, 2510 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway. Her trainer, Mike Springer, watched as she went the extra mile to become better.

“I remember her trying to do the rope climb after class,” he said. “For the first month, she couldn’t even get on the rope.”

But she stayed after class and practiced. After a month, she was able to finally get on the rope. In a little time, she climbed to the top.

“I was so excited when I was able to do it,” she said.

Her mother, Nancy , said she could see a change in her daughter.

“You could see that her self-esteem was starting to boost,” she said. “She started out slowest on the tennis court and soon became the fastest.”

Drabicki was getting better at CrossFit and decided to try weightlifting. She also recently quit tennis to focus on her new sport.

She placed third in her first competition.

“And this was me competing against women who were in their 30s and 40s,” she said. “They had been doing it much longer. After getting bronze, I wanted to do it again.”

Her training increased and now she is in the gym six days a week, switching between CrossFit and weightlifting.

She attended her first National Youth Championships for weightlifting in 2015, where she won gold and silver in two specific weightlifting maneuvers but took silver overall.

“I was really close to gold,” she said. “It made me want to go back and win. It left me hungry to train harder.”

She spent the next year trying to become stronger, despite nursing a shoulder injury, and returned to the 2016 National Youth Championships.

Though she gave a strong performance, the final girl she was against broke every record. Drabicki placed second overall.

“I almost broke the record,” she said.

Back at CrossFit Henderson, Drabicki is still training hard, with her eyes on bigger prizes.

“She has the best work ethic,” Springer said. “She is always pushing herself.”

She plans to return to the championship next year.

“I want to break the record (at the National Youth Championships),” she said.

She will soon be age-eligible for the CrossFit Games and hopes to enter that competition and continue to compete in weightlifting.

With the way training is going, she can only dream of Olympic weightlifting.

“It’s definitely a goal,” she said, “that and making it to the Youth World Championships.”

To reach Henderson View reporter Michael Lyle, email mlyle@viewnews.com or call 702-387-5201. Find him on Twitter: @mjlyle.

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